Stop asking families of disabled young people to discuss Do Not Resuscitate Directives.
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I have 2 daughters who are neurotypical - they are physically able and their intellectual function and social understanding are unimpaired. I also have a daughter who has multiple disabilities. She is a cheerful young woman with a great sense of humour, wonderful musical ability and everyone who works with her falls in love with her. She is a much loved and very valued member of our family. Because she lives in a residential care home, I attend an annual review to assess her progress and ascertain that her care plan remains appropriate. And every year I am asked (I'm told it's a requirement of the local authority and the NHS) to discuss whether Do Not Resuscitate should be written on her medical notes. She is 33 years old, and although disabled, she is in very good health. She lacks the mental capacity to understand and take a decision about this matter herself. She has exactly the same sort of life expectancy as her non-disabled sisters. No one would ask them to consider refusing resuscitation. I find it offensive that society assumes that disabled young people have such poor quality of life that they should not be given proper care if they become ill. It is the ultimate disability discrimination, giving the message that if someone's life is different and more limited than average, he or she is disposable. Please sign my petition to tell the government that disabled people's lives are as valuable as non-disabled lives, and end this practice of requiring families to discuss Do Not Resuscitate directives.
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