EBC has endorsed the Alzheimer Europe’s calling for caution and sound ethical principles in the current triage guidelines, which would exclude people with dementia from life-saving access to ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alzheimer Europe emphasises its commitment to a human rights based approach to dementia and its firm belief that after diagnosis, people with dementia can live many years of meaningful existence with a high quality of life. A diagnosis of dementia on its own should therefore never be a reason to refuse people access to treatment, care and support.
Governments and healthcare systems should take all necessary measures to ensure that the needed infrastructure (in addition to sufficient human resources) is in place so as to avoid the need for triage decisions.
The current situation is unprecedented and requires enormous efforts and sacrifices. However, we believe that decisions related to access to or withdrawal of intensive care services should be based on an evaluation of a patient’s individual prognosis, not on whether they have a particular diagnosis or on generalised assumptions/stereotypes about the impact of a particular diagnosis like dementia.
Read the full statement here.