Profit Over Patient Care – Human Rights Violations Uncovered During the U.K.’s Coronavirus Response

Photo by Javier Matheu on Unsplash

 

During this global health crisis, we’ve all certainly learned a lot about how “healthy” our healthcare systems around the world may – or may not – be as they respond to this crisis.

While early media scare-tactics in the U.S. focused on hospitals being overrun with coronavirus cases to the point of running out of beds and ventilators, that thankfully did not come to pass.

But we are still in the midst of dealing with this pandemic, and some truly frightening practices are being uncovered about coronavirus response in the medical community.

As the U.S. seems to be drifting closer and closer to socialism at the hands of progressive politicians, we should be learning from the “example” of nations with government-run healthcare programs on how these policies backfire on citizens’ rights – particularly the very right to life itself.

If we haven’t yet taken heed and realized these systems put profit before patients, perhaps this story is a good example of what may be coming our way if we don’t change paths.

In the U.K., a frightening practice has been uncovered – and it’s an epic and unlawful threat to human rights.

Two groups based in the U.K., Learning Disabilities England and Turning Point work each day to bring support, awareness, and resources to individuals with mental health disorders, learning disabilities, or substance abuse issues.

They also provide support for families caring for loved ones with any of these medical issues.

Now, the two organizations are working together to stop a dire threat to human life after it was found that some hospitals and care facilities in the U.K. were placing “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) orders in the charts of patients with any disability should they be admitted and diagnosed with coronavirus.

A DNR order is usually put in place in conjunction with the patient’s wishes, those of the family, and medical staff in cases of terminal illness or advanced age with health conditions.

But in these cases, neither patients or their families were consulted, and none had given permission to put a DNR order into place.

Simply put, this national healthcare system, controlled by the government of the U.K., decided that it would be best to let patients with learning disabilities or mental health issues die instead of spending the money to help them recover if they experienced life-threatening issues due to the virus.

Meaning their lives were deemed less important in the government’s view because they were not “perfect” or “normal” in their eyes.

The U.K.’s national charities have been challenging these DNR orders on behalf of patients and families who had no idea their lives were on the “chopping block,” and found they were targeted not for underlying health conditions, but because of their disabilities.

Turning Point has been made aware of nearly twenty unlawful orders, and Learning Disability England, a membership-driven organization, has had nearly one-fifth of its members report DNRs on file without their consent.

One man in his fifties was shocked to learn that he had been given a DNR notice after he was released from the hospital after an illness misdiagnosed as coronavirus.  The reason?  His blindness and a learning disability.

Another family member found that a DNR order was created for her brother simply because he is epileptic.  He has no other underlying health conditions.

According to U.K. law in their socialized medical system, a DNR cannot be issued without a physician first consulting with a patient’s next of kin.

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Officials with England’s National Health System (NHS) have previously issued warnings to physicians, as well as promising to set clear guidelines on when DNR orders can be created.

But none of this has done any good, as blanket DNR orders are still issued in national hospitals across the country.

And due to the work of organizations like Turning Point and Learning Disabilities England, multiple violations of the law have been uncovered in which general practitioners have issued blanket DNR orders in nursing homes and long-term care facilities amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

These organizations, and others, are working diligently to make patients and families aware of this human rights crisis.

On their websites, they have posted checklists of patient rights, frequently asked questions, and resources with which illegal DNR orders can be challenged.

Thanks to the work of national charitable groups, patients in the U.K. are receiving more information about how to become their own advocates, fight for their rights, and know what to look for when it comes to their medical care.

This egregious disregard for the right to life is just another frightening example of what can happen when government-run healthcare systems put profit over patient care.

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