Tuesday, April 20, 2021

People with disabilities were far more likely to die from COVID-19 in the UK.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

According to a study released from the Office for National Statistics in the UK, between January 24 and November 20, 2020, people with disabilities were far more likely to die by COVID-19.

According to the data:
risk of death involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) was 3.1 times greater for more-disabled men and 1.9 times greater for less-disabled men, compared with non-disabled men; among women, the risk of death was 3.5 times greater for more-disabled women and 2.0 times greater for less-disabled women, compared with non-disabled women.

Looking at people with a medically diagnosed learning disability, the risk of death involving COVID-19 was 3.7 times greater for both men and women compared with people who did not have a learning disability; after using statistical models to adjust for a range of factors, a raised risk of 1.7 times remained unexplained for both sexes.
The study found that one explanation for the difference in death rate can be seen in the data concerning the place of residence. People living in a care home or other communal establishment were more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who lived in a family home setting. The study found that the patterns for COVID-19 mortality did not change between the first and the second wave.

There are a few clear messages from this study.
  1. People with disabilities, even when accounting for medical conditions that may make someone more susceptible to death, were more likely to die from COVID-19 than non-disabled people. 
  2. People who lived in a institutional settings were far more likely to die from COVID-19 than people living in a family or independent living setting.

Once again, it appears that people with disabilities were not provided the same level of care as non-disabled people and those who lived in an institutional setting, similar to those who live in nursing homes, may have been denied access to hospital care and forced to receive minimal care in the institution, resulting in a much higher death rate.

The data from this study indicates that people with disabilities, in the UK, experienced medical discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in an otherwise unexplained higher death rate compared to non-disabled people.


1 comment:

Fr. Matthew George said...

How disappointing! People with disabilities should be receiving the care they need - unless there still are Vikings out there who are in favour of casting them adrift on an ice floe - and, I'm sure Canada's no different from the U.K. in this regard, we are failing to provide that care. Here's Pope Francis' "culture of indifference" run amok! Our system's status quo has proven to be deadly for our elderly and disabled population.