Reports of potential discrimination in medical treatment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have caused fear, anxiety, and anger within the Down syndrome community. Departments of the federal government and some state governments have responded by issuing bulletins and guidance in an effort to prevent discrimination in medical treatment for COVID-19 on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, and religion. We have provided links to two examples in the "Government Statements and Guidance" section below. Numerous organizations that support and advocate for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities have also issued statements. In addition, many have hosted webinars and presentations to share information on this topic. We have shared links in the "Statements and Information from Organizations" section below.
Government Statements and Guidance
Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
State of Illinois
Statements and Information from Organizations
- National Down Syndrome Society - link
- National Down Syndrome Congress - link
Webinars and Presentations
- The Down Syndrome Center of Western Pennsylvania released a podcast episode called "Right to Equal Medical Treatment for People with DS" on April 21, 2020. It can be accessed at this link. The podcast is hosted by the medical director of the Center, Dr. Kishore Vellody. In the episode, he talks with Heather Sachs, JD, the Policy and Advocacy Director of the National Down Syndrome Congress.
- A webinar called "No Discrimination in Health Care Rationing" was offered by the National Down Syndrome Congress, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, and the National Down Syndrome Society on April 14, 2020. The recording can be viewed by providing your name and e-mail address on the form at this link. The slides can be reviewed at this link.