NCLEJ Files Lawsuit to Protect Personal Ventilator Users
Did you know that New York State has a policy for rationing medical resources — like ventilators — during emergency health crises?
As Covid-19 infections spike again this Fall, New Yorkers with disabilities, and especially personal ventilator users who seek medical care at a hospital, could lose access to ventilators due to this rationing policy.
The New York State Department of Health Ventilator Allocation Guidelines state that if there is a heightened need for ventilators and a shortage of machines, the personal ventilators of chronic ventilator users can be taken and given to other people perceived to have a higher chance of survival.
That’s why the National Center For Law and Economic Justice teamed up with Disability Rights New York and filed a case to change these discriminatory allocation policies. This first of a kind case could ensure ventilator users will have access to their equipment whenever they need them!
While many states across the country including Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have filed and resolved administrative complaints to ensure access to medical equipment, Governor Cuomo has refused to do the right thing.
Discriminatory policies like this harm people with disabilities and “underlying conditions” and puts them at risk. Rationing policies are dangerous and unfair. They devalue the medical needs of low-income people and people of color.
New York State shouldn’t have the power to decide who gets to live or die by taking their personal medical equipment from them.