By John Pring in Disability News Service.
A leading disabled campaigner and crossbench peer has called for an end to the use of the word “vulnerable” to describe disabled people.
Baroness [Jane] Campbell said the term had been used repeatedly to describe disabled people during the “worst times” of the pandemic crisis.
But she said that many disabled people placed in the category of “vulnerable” or those who were told they needed to “shield” – as she has – had been forced instead to campaign for their basic human rights throughout the pandemic because the concept of “vulnerability… simply serves to anonymise our humanity and human rights”.
She was speaking at an online event hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE), as part of a series examining policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She pointed to the use of Care Act easements under the Coronavirus Act that led to disabled people losing vital care and support; the use of “frailty scoring” to prioritise ventilation and intensive care treatment; and GPs “ringing around asking the vulnerable if they wanted to consider a DNR on their notes”.
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