Message from Community Living Ontario
The third wave of COVID-19 is overwhelming Ontario’s hospitals. As a result, life-saving critical care could very soon be rationed or “triaged”. However, serious concerns about the triage protocol have been raised by disability advocates and organizations.
We agree that having a triage protocol in place is an upsetting, but necessary measure to take. What we do not agree with is the Ontario government’s approach to creating the triage protocol, which has been done behind closed doors. We are also concerned that key aspects of the current triage protocol discriminate against people with disabilities and are a reckless violation of their rights.
The newest wave of COVID is overloading Ontario intensive care units, which is what triggered Ontario’s latest lockdown. As a result, life-saving critical care in Ontario hospitals could very soon be rationed or “triaged”. Serious concerns about the triage protocol have been raised by disability organizations such as ARCH Disability Law Centre and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance. Community Living Ontario and partners (Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, ARCH Disability Law Centre, AODA Alliance, Canadian Down Syndrome Society, Lupus Canada, Disability Law Intensive Program - Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, and University of Toronto) are advocating for a triage protocol, but one that:
- Is made public and transparent (not made in secret)
- Does NOT discriminate against people who have disabilities
- Is fair for patients
- Is based in law – and not a just memo
- Does not override patients’ right to consent