The lack of ventilators in the National Health Service means they will be provided to people on the basis of their chance of survival. If you are disabled, this means: NOT YOU.
Just wrote the UN's Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) regarding the U.K.'s COVID-19 ventilator rationing and its implications for the sick and disabled.
Stay strong and safe. God Bless!
— Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7) March 30, 2020
Troubling news that a London Hospital is now triaging access to ventilators based on survival chances.
Can we reconsider transferring these patients to areas with low infections?
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) March 29, 2020
As I reported – only yesterday (March 29) – hospitals in the United States are already doing this, and the guidance they have been given means people with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other disabilities simply won’t get a look-in.
Personally, I have to question whether Boris Johnson was aiming for this – or something like it – from the moment he was first told about Covid-19. Consider:
The Gov was briefed about the failings of the pandemic simulation exercise in 2016.. ventilators and the right PPE were recommendations .. and they did nothing.
— Martin G #FBPE (@martingeorge333) March 29, 2020
That’s right: that recommendation to buy ventilators and protective equipment was ignored because they cost too much.
Johnson’s first briefing about the disease was in November last year. He did nothing.
According to Simon Wren-Lewis’s Mainly Macro and an article in The Times, “Chris Whitty warned the cabinet in January that other countries might experience this pandemic, but Boris Johnson’s instincts were to resist a life changing crackdown, and Dominic Cummings agreed.” They did nothing.
“It seems that so convinced were both politicians that nothing needed to be done that they failed to do what any good politician should do, and plan for contingencies. The time that was lost in those days before the “herd immunity” strategy was changed is the key to why so many things have gone so horribly wrong since.
“These range from minor, like Johnson continuing to shake hands, to critical failings like not ramping up testing capacity (the UK was among the first to develop a test, but is testing far fewer than other countries), not ordering more ventilators until dangerously late, a failure to deliver protective equipment to all doctors and nurses well before they were needed and the complete failure to quickly unroll a public information campaign.”
Here’s the relevant part of the Times article:
— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) March 22, 2020
Johnson was warned to take action by The Lancet on January 24 and he did nothing.
When the virus hit the UK, he did as little as he could – and made no contingency plans.
Here’s Mainly Macro again: “Even after 16th March the Prime Minister followed the suppression strategy in a half hearted manner. What he should have done, as soon as was possible, was to impose something close to the maximum degree of suppression immediately. Instead it came in a piecemeal fashion: The Prime Minister kept saying “when the time was right” at his press conferences. Instead of trying to get the pandemic under control as soon as possible, it seemed he was trying to squash the curve by just enough to ensure hospitals were not overrun.”
And now we don’t have enough equipment to treat everybody who needs it, and people with disabilities are set to die.
That’s after 10 years in which people with disabilities were systematically demonised, othered and persecuted by Conservative and Conservative-led governments.
As Mainly Macro states, “No scientist would want to stop a government, on seeing the first cases of COVID-19 in the UK in mid-February, distributing PPE equipment to medics, ordering new ventilators and ramping up testing capacity. That this didn’t happen in the UK until mid-March is, as the Lancet suggests, a national scandal.”
But it is possible that – if the only victims are people with disabilities – that scandal will be ignored. How do you feel about that?
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