UW Hospital has been sued for denying care to patients with developmental disabilities….who are not dying! This latest UW travesty puts that entity squarely on the slippery slope to devalue the lives of those considered to have no meaning. Not only did officials at the hospital approve a plan to perform late-term, elective, dismemberment abortions at one of its facilities, it is now on record as applying the same lack of respect for the lives of those with disabilities.
UW Hospital has been sued by Disability Rights Wisconsin for allegedly withdrawing treatment from two patients with developmental disabilities, one of whom subsequently survived while the other one died. The patients had apparent cases of pneumonia which is easily treatable. According to a May 14 article in the Wisconsin State Journal, Disability Rights in its lawsuit contends that state law does not allow withdrawal of treatment from patients unless they are dying or in a “persistent vegetative state,” a prognosis that applied to neither of the patients.
The WSJ article states that , “Disability Rights is suing to change hospital practices and to recover the $4,700 it spent investigating the cases, plus legal costs. Attorney Mitch Hagopian said he worried some UW Hospital doctors may be too quick to suggest withdrawing treatment from a developmentally disabled person they perceive to have a low quality of life.”
Wisconsin Right to Life commends Disability Rights Wisconsin for raising this important issue on behalf of patients who cannot speak for themselves. Commendations also to Bethesda Lutheran Homes in Watertown for refusing to withhold antibiotics from their patient. The statement by UW Hospital that they were acting in the ‘best interests of the patients” is hollow, given that one of the patients died, and the other reported being subjected to undue pressure to withdraw treatment.