Disabled People’s rights and Covid 19

Covid 19 and the rights of disabled people – statement supported by disabled people’s organisations and allies

Learning Disability England is one of many organisations and thousands of people supporting a statement about the rights of disabled people during Covid 19.

The statement sets out the principles we believe should underpin all health and support decisions now.

These principles are set out as:

  • Our individual chance of benefiting from treatment should we have Covid19 must not be influenced by how our lives are valued by society.
  • Where we have existing health conditions or impairments that are unrelated to our chance of benefiting from treatment, they must not play any part in decision-making regarding our equal right to access such treatment.
  • The fact that we might have significant levels of social care and support needs, or that we may do so in future as a result of the pandemic, should not make health staff think that we will not benefit from treatment.
  • We have the right to be fully involved in decisions about our own lives, including life and death decisions. Decisions should never be made without our involvement, or consideration of our best interests. There is no justification for policies based on age or learning disability that do not treat each of us with respect and as individuals.
  • We all, and our advocates, have the right to know about decisions that may be made about us that will affect us.
  • Guidelines on the assessment, provision, and evaluation of treatment and care provided to individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic must be developed in collaboration with disabled people’s organisations and representatives from human rights bodies.

You can read the full statement and add your name to say you support it on the Disability Rights UK website here

There was a response to the letter from the Chief Nursing Officer and Medical Director at NHS England and Improvement.

Their reply says they support and agree with the principles in the open statement and that “NHS will always seek to fully protect the rights of people with disabilities, now and throughout the course of this global pandemic.”

You can read their reply on Disability Rights UK website here