CPR and Partners File Additional Complaints Regarding Illegal Disability Discrimination in Treatment Rationing During COVID-19 Pandemic

March 27, 2020

The Center for Public Representation, Disability Rights Center of Kansas, Topeka Independent Living Resource Center, DREDF, Bazelon Center, and Austistic Self Advocacy Network filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) today regarding illegal disability discrimination in treatment rationing protocols being developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The complaint focuses on the “Toolkit for COVID-19” released by the state in response to the pandemic, under which hospitals are instructed to take away ventilators from people receiving care, even from people who regularly use their own ventilator, and to deny patients lifesaving care if they have certain disabilities without providing an individualized assessment of patients’ ability to survive the acute crisis. These policies violate federal disability rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You can read the full press release here.

CPR also worked with a coalition led by Disability Rights Tennessee, The Arc, and others, to file a complaint today in Tennessee that is available here.

More information on the complaints filed earlier this week in Washington state and Alabama earlier this week are available here and here.

For more on the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on people with disabilities, visit our webpage.