Why Triage.Quebec ?
Writing a triage protocol was necessary in the COVID-19 pandemic situation. However, pandemic or not, the decicions taken should never go against fundamental human rights.
In the last few months, different countries and provinces have tried to include discrimination against people with disabilities in their triage protocols. A lot of them ended up withdrawing these criterions after a popular mobilization.
We aim to have the Quebec Protocol changed in the same way.
WHY ACT NOW ?
Even if the pandemic situation is on its way to be under control in Quebec, a lot of questions remain for the future. In the event of a second wave, we fear the Health system might be unable to accomodate everyone.
People with disabilities are people too and they have fundamental human rights that have to be respected, even in a pandemic situation.
WHO STARTED TRIAGE.QUEBEC ?
Triage.Quebec is an initiative led by the Quebec Intellectual Disability Society.
Researchers, bioethicians and groups support us and ask for a revision of the Protocol. The initiative is vastly larger than just linked to the Intellectual disability community.
WHAT WE DID SO FAR
Since the very begining of the pandemic situation, some organizations have tried to get information about what would happen if the Health services were overcrowded.
In April 2020, we received the Protocol from confidential sources.
On April, 24, 2020, the Quebec Intellectual Disability Society send an email to the Direction des services en déficience, trouble du spectre de l’autisme et réadaptation physique of the Health and Social Services ministry to have a copy of the Protocol. The reply finally came from the Communications service of the Ministry, telling us the Protocol would not be published since it would most likely never be used, and the public had no reason to be made aware of its content.
On April 27 avril 2020, the Quebec Intellectual Disability Society send an email to the Health and Social Services Minister’s office, asking to have a copy of the Protocol and to make it public. No reply was ever received.
On May 8th 2020, the Quebec Intellectual Disability Society sent a formal request to the Collège des médecins du Québec so that it asks the Quebec Health and Social Services ministry to publish the document.The Collège des médecins never replied.
On May 2020, the Adjunct executive director for the Direction générale adjointe des services hospitaliers, du médicament et de la pertinence clinique and Direction générale des affaires universitaires, médicales, infirmières et pharmaceutiques replied that « this protocol is not public and we don’t see why we should make it public, as it’s not relevant to the public », sugesting if we wanted a copy of the document we should « make a request with the freedom of information act ».
In the last few weeks we’ve analyzed the Protocol with the help of researches and bioethicists.