Skip to Content

Disability Rights Washington


Disability Rights in Crisis Standards of Care. Disability Rights Washington: On March 23, 2020, disability rights advocates filed a complaint with HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) alleging the State of Washington’s plan to ration care in response to COVID-19 constitutes disability discrimination in violation of federal law. Specifically, early indications are that Washington State Department of Health and state hospitals intend to weigh the survival of young and healthy patients over older, chronically debilitated patients. Rights advocates argue that doing so “rations care on the basis of disability.” On March 28, 2020, OCR released a bulletin reminding covered entities that federal civil rights law remains operative during emergencies. The bulletin also states that “[p]ersons with disabilities, with limited English skills or needing religions accommodations should not be put at the end of the line for health services during an emergency.”

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – April 2, 2020.