Autism, C19 and Do Not Resuscitate
At the beginning of the Pandemic in the UK, a few news stories emerged about DNR files being issued to residents of care homes, en masse, without their participation in the process and without their knowledge or consent.
At the time discussions around doctors having to prioritise who to put on a ventilator were a new normal as countries responded to the horrors of the early days of the pandemic.
These DNR letters were sent to the elderly, patients with incurable/untreatable terminal illnesses and those with neurological conditions including ASD/autism and cerebral palsy.
I found this revolting, utterly hideous, in the cold light of day, when all the rhetoric and politicking is removed, there is a tier which is truly reserved for the young, the non-disabled and the healthy.
We all know this, but the bias had never been so blatantly obvious, and I never previously understood just how deeply the fissure ran. Not only was this categorisation seemingly normal within the medical sector, the concept of human rights or regard for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities literally disappeared at the first relatively justifiable opportunity.
Laura McConnell, an Edinburgh teacher who has autism, ADHD and hearing difficulties went public with her concerns about a DNR being placed on her file without her consent after it emerged in June 21 that a deaf man living in Edinburgh had a DNR placed on his file without his consent, the reason given for making the decision without him was 'communication difficulties'.
The deaf community are trailblazers historically when it comes to disability rights, I'm watching this one with great interest.