Britain’s socialised healthcare system has reportedly been issuing do not resuscitate orders for people with learning disabilities during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
The Royal Mencap Society, a top charity for people with learning disabilities, claimed that it had received reports in January from people with mental handicaps who said that they were told if they contracted the coronavirus, they would not be resuscitated.
Mencap’s chief executive, Edel Harris, told The Guardian: “Throughout the pandemic many people with a learning disability have faced shocking discrimination and obstacles to accessing healthcare, with inappropriate Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices put on their files and cuts made to their social care support.
“It’s unacceptable that within a group of people hit so hard by the pandemic, and who even before Covid died on average over 20 years younger than the general population, many are left feeling scared and wondering why they have been left out.
“The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) and government must act now to help save the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable people by urgently prioritising all people with a learning disability for the vaccine,” Harris concluded.
According to Public Health England (PHE), young people between the ages of 18 and 34 with learning disabilities are 30 times more likely to die from the coronavirus than their non-disabled counterparts.
Last week, NHS figures showed that in the first five weeks of the third national lockdown, some 65 per cent of deaths of people with learning disabilities were caused by the coronavirus.