Coronavirus pandemic: a letter to the British Medical Association

Published: 23 Apr 2020

We have written to the British Medical Association to highlight our concerns around its ethical guidance during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Read the letter to the British Medical Association (104KB, PDF)

Read the British Medical Association's response (178KB, PDF)

Commenting on the importance of clear guidance during the pandemic, Equality and Human Rights Commission CEO Rebecca Hilsenrath said:

"Doctors and other healthcare professionals are making difficult decisions in unprecedented circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic, often at great personal risk, and the country owes them its profound gratitude. To help inform these decisions, clear guidance is needed. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clearly states that clinical decisions should not be made on the basis of someone‚Äôs disability or underlying health conditions. 

"We have asked the British Medical Association (BMA) to make this very clear in its own ethical guidance, in line with their duties under the Equality Act. If this is not possible the guidance should be withdrawn and BMA members directed to the definitive NICE guidance. 

"Doing so will help provide disabled people with the healthcare to which they are entitled."

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