Disability rights groups have filed federal civil rights complaints alleging that ventilator-rationing plans or proposals in Alabama and Washington state would discriminate against the disabled and put them at imminent risk amid the coronavirus pandemic.A complaint filed Tuesday with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights takes aim at a part of Alabama’s Emergency Operations Plan focused on managing access to ventilators during an event that the governor deems a public health crisis.The protocol lists several health conditions for which providers should “not offer mechanical ventilator support,” including heart failure, respiratory failure and metastatic cancer. It also says “persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support.”The complaint by the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program and The ARC of the United States claims this policy discriminates against people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities in violation of federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.Alabama “is poised to make life-and-death decisions that will deny needed medical treatment to countless individuals based entirely on their underlying disabilities,” the complaint says. “The mere fact that a person has an intellectual or cognitive disability cannot be a basis for denying


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