First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN) in partnership with Professor Cameron Stewart, Sydney Health Law, University of Sydney, and Professor Jackie Leach Scully, Disability Innovation Institute UNSW, have outlined necessary principles and recommendations regarding the ethical decision-making for First Peoples Living with Disability. These guidelines are specific for individuals presenting to an Intensive Care Unit and how their treatment is prioritised and managed.
FPDN CEO, Damian Griffis stated “we have seen scenarios play out overseas where a point system has been the tool used to determine who is worthy of treatment and prioritising individuals level of care. People who are disadvantaged often score lower on those point ranking systems, and it is those same people who miss out on receiving appropriate medical attention and support. Our fear in Australia is that First Peoples with disability who are already experiencing higher levels of disadvantage and are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 will be triaged out of the health system or be provided with inadequate support.”
Discussions of easing restrictions, nation-wide, potentially present a higher risk of increasing numbers of outbreaks across the country. These ethical considerations must be adapted and implemented.