Coronavirus COVID-19 Disability Japan

Kyoto based disability group raises concerns about ‘selecting lives’ amid coronavirus crisis

With the spread of the new coronavirus and the shortage ventilators and specialized hospital beds, people with disabilities are increasingly wary of "selecting lives."

Written with extracts translated from Kyodo

May 6th 2020

KYOTO– With the spread of the new coronavirus and the shortage ventilators and specialized hospital beds, people with disabilities are increasingly wary of “selecting lives.” This is because in the US and Europe, which faced the collapse of medical treatment, cases of postponing treatment for persons with disabilities and the elderly have been reported. A sense of crisis among people in Kyoto as well, such as the Parents’ Association that raises awareness of children with Down syndrome Is spreading.

According to the DPI Japan Conference of Disability Organizations and the National Center for Independent Living, the guidelines that the state of Alabama in the United States “is unlikely to be subject to mechanical ventilation support” for people with disabilities and illnesses Is newly formulated. In Spain, older patients died as a result of prioritizing the placement of mechanical ventilation on younger patients. A Dutch disability organization reported that “the elderly and people with severe disabilities were not covered by emergency medical care.”

In Japan as well, the government’s expert council proposed on April 1 that it is necessary to ask the public to share their awareness of the limited use of medical resources, and prioritize the allocation of ventilators.

The Down’s Parents’ Parent’s Association criticizes this recommendation. In a statement released on the 23rd jointly with the organ transplant law and civic groups that oppose the death of dignity, he criticized that “it calls on the citizens to choose not to use a ventilator by prior notice.” We asked the government to increase the production of artificial respirators.

In a statement, the Disability Society, chaired by Professor Shinya Tateiwa of Ritsumeikan University, also issued a warning to medical personnel, “Don’t let the lives of people with disabilities be underestimated.”

On the other hand, there is a movement on the Internet to call senior citizens to sign a “will card” that gives advanced treatments such as mechanical ventilation and artificial lungs to young people. Fuminobu Ishikura, a professor at Osaka University who invented the card, is also a doctor, saying, “It is terrible to approach a busy medical staff with a choice of life. It is too late even after the ventilator has run out. It should be a stone of discussion. ”

Kazuko Sasaki (70) of Sakyo Ward, Kyoto who serves as an adviser to the Parents’ Association, said, “If these ideas are justified even once, it will lead to a formula that even people with illnesses and disabilities will be fed. Even if the cause of the collapse of medical treatment is the conventional measures of the country such as reduction of the number of beds. , It’s a problem to cut off the weak without looking at it. ”

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