JANE Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, called on the Welsh Government to urgently clarify the status of ‘do not resuscitate’ (DNR) orders for people with learning disabilities.
Mencap in England has reported that people with learning disabilities have been told they would not be resuscitated if they were taken ill with Covid-19. This is after the Care Quality Commission reported that inappropriate ‘do not resuscitate’ orders caused avoidable deaths last year amongst people with learning disabilities.
With fewer than two in five people with a learning disability living until they are 65, with the majority of deaths due to Covid being amongst people who are disabled, and with young people with learning disabilities affected much more than other young people, this is a matter of human rights and dignity.
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said:
“We know that people with learning disabilities have been unfairly hit by the pandemic, and this is just another example. In the last lockdown, people needed to be reassured that this practice of people with learning disabilities not being treated, was not widespread. It is unforgiveable that people and their families are not waiting for the same guarantee, almost a year after the first lockdown. It is terrifying for them and their families.
“We are calling for the Welsh Government to urgently clarify what guidance NHS Wales is following, and to promise that this policy is not being followed in any healthcare settings in Wales.
“I will be writing to the Health Minister and asking for his guarantee that the rights, life and dignity of people with learning disabilities are protected.”