Episode 80 Resources: Rationing of Medical Care and Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities

Original Broadcast: April 22, 2020
Recording and Transcripts Episode 80: Rationing of Medical Care and Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities
Link: adalive.org/episode80


Center for Public Representation (CPR) Resources

  • Center for Public Representation (CPR)
    This organization uses legal strategies, advocacy, and policy to promote the integration and full community participation of people with disabilities and all others who are devalued in today’s society.
    Link: centerforpublicrep.org
  • COVID-19 Information and Resources from Center for Public Representation
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic information for people with disabilities about useful resources, current and possible legislation, disability rights advocacy, and medical rationing.
    Link: centerforpublicrep.org/covid-19/

Federal Policy and Actions Enforcing Disability Rights

State Actions and Policies Affecting Disability Rights






Disability Rights Advocacy and Medical Care Rationing

ADA National Network Webinars

News Articles about Medical Care Rationing

  • Who Gets the Ventilator? Disability Discrimination in COVID-19 Medical-Rationing Protocols
    The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to reckon with the possibility of having to ration life-saving medical treatments. In response, many health systems have employed protocols that explicitly de-prioritize people for these treatments based on pre-existing disabilities. This Essay argues that such protocols violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Affordable Care Act. Such explicit discrimination on its face violates these statutes. Nor can medical providers simply define disabled patients as being “unqualified” because of disabilities that do not affect the ability to ameliorate the condition for which treatment is sought. A proper interpretation of the law may permit medical providers to use disability as a basis for a rationing decision where an individual’s underlying disability will kill the individual in the immediate term regardless of the treatment. However, as this Essay demonstrates, those circumstances will be narrow. Further, the law requires that such imminent-death determinations will be made based on the best available objective evidence, free from both bias against people with disabilities and devaluation of their lives.
    Source: Yale Law Journal
    Link: www.yalelawjournal.org/forum/who-gets-the-ventilator
  • People with Disabilities Fear Pandemic Will Worsen Medical Biases
    April 15, 2020
    Also available as an audio file/podcast
    Source: National Public Radio (NPR)
    Link: npr.org/2020/04/15/828906002/people-with-disabilities-fear-pandemic-will-worsen-medical-biases?fbclid=IwAR2At53EzeQK01iZPWlouZjKYXFtuLprPceXwzr4mD4GTf3h3klmfeGyF-M
  • For People with Disabilities, COVID-19 Puts Question of Who Lives or Dies in Stark Relief
    April 14, 2020
    Source: Arizona Republic
    Link: azcentral.com/story/news/2020/04/14/coronavirus-pandemic-people-disabilities-worry-covid-19-care/5108774002/
  • The Disability Community Fights Deadly Discrimination Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
    April 14, 2020
    Source: Forbes
    Link: forbes.com/sites/andrewpulrang/2020/04/14/the-disability-community-fights-deadly-discrimination-amid-the-covid-19-pandemic/#6df416ba309c
  • HHS Warns States Not to Put People with Disabilities at the Back of the Line for Care
    March 28, 2020
    Source: National Public Radio (NPR)
    Link: npr.org/2020/03/28/823254597/hhs-warns-states-not-to-put-people-with-disabilities-at-the-back-of-the-line-for

Medical Policy and Analysis


The contents of this website are developed by the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, with funding from the Southeast ADA Center under NIDILRR Grant Number #90DP0090-01-00 from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Southeast ADA Center is a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. 

The information, materials, and/or technical assistance provided by the Southeast ADA Center are intended solely as informal guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and are neither a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities under ADA, nor binding on any agency with enforcement responsibility under the ADA. The Southeast ADA Center does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein. Furthermore, in order to effectively provide technical assistance to all individuals and entities covered by the ADA, NIDILRR requires the Southeast ADA Center to assure confidentiality of communications between those covered and the Center. Any links to non-Southeast ADA Center information are provided as a courtesy, and are neither intended to, nor do they constitute, an endorsement of the linked materials or its accessibility.

NIDILRR is not responsible for enforcement of the ADA. For more information or assistance, please contact the Southeast ADA Center via its web site at ADAsoutheast.org or by calling 1-800-949-4232 (voice) or 404-541-9001 (voice). 

Contact For More Information or Assistance:

Southeast ADA Center
Email: ADAsoutheast@law.syr.edu
Phone: 404-541-9001