Arizona is discriminating against the vulnerable to ration care. It must stop.

Discrimination in health care has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus, as state after state has considered Crisis Standards of Care that violate the civil rights and erode the inherent human dignity of elders and people with disabilities.

Battling these CSCs has been like a frantic game of whack-a-mole for advocates and the federal government alike. Numerous complaints to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights have been filed by disability and patient organizations. Articles in the public square have been decrying such unfair and degrading rationing protocol for months. Dr. Cara Christ and the Arizona Department of Health Services apparently didn’t get the memo.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and under the pressure of a physician petition, she not only finalized a proposed CSC, but made Arizona the first state to deploy rationing protocol even though the state claims to have sufficient ICU capacity and ventilators…

It is time to reject unfair protocols like Arizona’s CSC and cruel policies like assisted suicide that involve inherent discrimination against vulnerable people and qualitative judgments on the value of their lives. We call on the governor and ADHS to use the Tennessee model CSC before the federal government embarrassingly forces them to do so. Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice should fast-track federal CSC triage protocol so states and courageous front-line physicians don’t keep finding themselves in this ethical and legal quagmire.

Read more at the Arizona Daily Star…

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