Petitioning NSW Minister of Health Minister Brad Hazzard

Help Maureen stop deadly disability discrimination

Maureen McIlquham’s daughter Michelle should not have died at 28 years of age. Michelle was an outgoing and friendly young person; an accomplished horse rider and much loved family and community member. Michelle also had an Intellectual Disability. 

Her death was due to a disastrous misdiagnosis of meningitis. The doctors misinterpreted Michelle’s responses, assuming her reactions were due to her disability instead of the intense pain she was experiencing.

A landmark study from University of New South Wales has just been released and it shows that disability discrimination is deadly.

In fact, in NSW 38% of deaths of people with intellectual disability are preventable.

NSW Council for Intellectual Disability is calling for proper investment in the health of people with intellectual disability so that we can end the terrible number of Australians with intellectual disability dying from preventable illness.

We need the NSW State Government to commit $50 million per year for 10 years to put an end to the high numbers of preventable deaths for people with intellectual disability in NSW.

This would enable the implementation of recommendations in accordance with NSW Health’s own Framework to Improve the Health Care of People with Intellectual Disability. "These include training for doctors and nurses, regular reporting of deaths with a strategy to address the shortfalls in services and access, KPI’s for Local Health Districts and funding of specialised intellectual disability health services to backup the mainstream.” says Jim Simpson, NSW CID Senior Advocate. 

This is a human rights issue and the Government needs to urgently address it.

Michelle’s death was preventable and sadly illustrates what can happen if good quality and intellectual disability informed health care is not provided to people with intellectual disability


This petition will be delivered to:
  • NSW Minister of Health
    Minister Brad Hazzard

    NSW Council for Intellectual Disability started this petition with a single signature, and now has 10,239 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

    Not sure what to do? Help this petition by signing!