If hospitals receive an influx of coronavirus patients, protocol requires respirator access to be given to them before disabled people and others with vulnerabilities, says Liberal MP Jennifer Maccarone who strongly disagrees with the current system.
"In the event of a shortage of intensive care beds during the crisis, the government is offering doctors a protocol to determine who will have access to a respirator or not. For example, if you have a severe cognitive impairment, such as Down's syndrome or a severe autism disorder, you may have to leave your place to another person," said Maccarone on Wednesday at the National Assembly.
"I am scandalized, I am the mother of two autistic children and I would give them my life!"
Triage.Quebec, a Quebec Intellectual Disability Society initiative, was able to get hold of the criteria from the committee of experts behind the protocol, which has not yet been made public, reports TVA Nouvelles.
"Severe cognitive impairment (total inability to perform activities of daily living and home independently) due to progressive disease" is included in criteria that can cause a patient to be ineligible for intensive care.
“I am offended and angry,” said Maccarone, “It is shameful to say that one person's life is worth more than another.”
She demands that the criteria be removed and that people begin discussing the topic.
Minister Danielle McCann noted that the protocol was not being followed in Quebec because hospitals are not currently overwhelmed with patients.
The Minister of Health still believes the experts behind the protocol should explain their decision. She referred to the situation as "disgusting."
"The life of a person with a disability is as important as any life of a human being. (...) There are clinical criteria within this protocol, and this information must go to associations for people with disabilities, and it was offered, and I hope it will be done," she said.