Essential Elements of New York Guidelines for Allocation of Health Care Resources During A Pandemic, The Center for HIV Law and Policy (April 14, 2020)

Letters and Other Advocacy Documents

In Spring 2020, the rapid spread of COVID-19 pushed New York City, and other cities across the United States, to the precipice of a troubling public health dilemma: how to allocate scarce resources when a pandemic has overwhelmed our existing health care infrastructure. Absent clear guidance from the state, this situation could easily lead to facilities and providers employing ad-hoc triage policies that ration critical care away from patients living with disabilities, including those with HIV, Hepatitis and related comorbidities, and older patients, based on uninformed assumptions about the relative values of their lives and life expectancies. 

In response, CHLP staff drafted this proposed set of principles for the creation of needed guidelines, in collaboration with New York disabilities and HIV advocates and care providers. Addressed to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and the heads of the state health department, the NY AIDS Institute and the NY Health and Hospitals Corporation, the proposal outlines essential elements of any health care triage plans, to ensure that they comply with the requirments of federal and state disability antidiscrimination laws as well as those that protect citizens from discrimination based on age, race, gender, religion and ethnicity.