Report Shows Hospital Staff Wrote Off Patients With Disabilities
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 22, 2006
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--The Ombudsman for the Australian state of New South Wales has found that people with disabilities who died last year while receiving state services received limited medical care -- and were not resuscitated -- because staff considered their "quality of life" to be inferior.
Ombudsman Bruce Barbour's report, released Wednesday, concluded that some hospital staff failed to follow official guidelines on end-of-life treatment for patients with disabilities because those patients might have been seen "to have a less valuable life than other people in the community."
Barbour's report also noted that hospitals failed to develop discharge plan for patients with disabilities, leading some to be repeatedly readmitted on the same day.
The report appears to support the argument -- made by many disability rights advocates -- that legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide would put the lives of vulnerable people at greater risk, especially at a time when society and the medical profession view their lives as being less valuable or intolerable.
Disabled patients get worse care (Sydney Morning Herald)
Report -- Deaths of people with disabilities in care (NSW Ombudsman)