Support for HHS OCR to publish
“[Non-]Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
in Critical Health and Human Service Programs or Activities”
DREDF, with partners Not Dead Yet and the Patients Rights Action Fund, have assembled a total of 30 disability rights and racial justice organizations to support further regulatory action by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights. In particular, the groups want to see the formal HHS release of the recently issued but not yet published Request for Information (RFI) on “Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Critical Health and Human Service Programs or Activities”
The RFI addresses disability non-discrimination in a number of healthcare areas, including life-sustaining care, organ transplants, Crisis Standards of Care, suicide prevention programs and services, the child welfare system, health care value assessment methodologies, and auxiliary aids and accessible medical equipment in the health care system.
The group letter sent to HHS OCR points out,
Even though much has been accomplished in the near 50 years of the Rehabilitation Act, and having just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we all recognize that much is left to be done. The COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored and further uncovered discriminatory actions and attitudes in the provision of healthcare against Black and Indigenous people, other people of color, elders, and people with disabilities.
… The issues addressed in this RFI look to root out the common thread they all share: too many medical professionals see life with a disability as less worth living and less worthy of care … . Continuing to allow those sentiments to influence the provision or denial of healthcare in any area addressed by … Section 504 … is a threat to the integrity and equity of all healthcare, particularly because anyone at anytime can acquire or age into a disability.