HHS Clarifies Civil Rights Protections for Special Needs

Makes denial of resources to the disabled a federal crime during public health emergencies.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance to health care providers last week. Released by the department’s Office for Civil Rights, the agency clarified that people with disabilities should get primary access to scarce public health resources during public health emergencies and that denying them those resources violates federal civil rights laws.

“The pandemic has shone a light on the disparities in our health care system and provided us with a new opportunity to address them in a meaningful way,” said Secretary Xavier Becerra. ”Protecting people with disabilities from being discriminated against in crisis situations is a critical part of this work, and we are continuing to evaluate our operations Department-wide to ensure accessibility.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Becerra to seek God’s direction as he heads the effort to ensure civil rights for the disabled.
  • For the president and his administration as they implement protections for civil rights.
  • That those with special needs are able to find and access the public and private assistance available to them.

Sources: Department of Health and Human Services


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