Hospitals must not discriminate against patients with Special Needs who need a ventilator

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a ventilator scarcity, hospitals are forced to make difficult decisions regarding who will receive a ventilator and who will not
 
There are allocation guidelines that suggest that the mere presence of a congenital syndrome, intellectual disability or developmental disability (such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida) may be reason to deny a person life-saving ventilator support.
 
However, the spectrum of developmental disabilities and their myriad biomedical causes are too widely varied and too poorly understood by the general medical community to reliably be used as broad evidence-based predictors of life expectancy or the quality of life of an individual.
 
Physicians who specialize in the care of patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), are painfully aware of the diagnostic overshadowing, discrimination and supervised neglect in the healthcare system that impact our patients routinely, even during times of relative resource abundance.
 
Therefore, we are unified in the position that the presence of an intellectual or developmental disability must not be used as a factor for determining life expectancy or quality of life and, furthermore, must not be used as an exclusion criterion for ventilator support or the allocation of other scarce medical resources. The same medical risk factors applied for other patients should be those considered for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.