A REAL AND PRESENT DANGER: MEDICAL DISCRIMINATION
Nichole Charpentier is a 39-year-old woman who uses a wheelchair. She identifies as having cerebral palsy and asthma. In March 2020, she was feeling very sick and having a hard time breathing. Her doctor recommended that she go to the hospital because she was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. When she got to the hospital with her personal care worker, the physician argued with her regarding her disabilities and whether she should get any accommodations or access to needed medical services. This same physician also recommended that her personal care worker maintain a six-foot distance regardless of her care needs. She is worried that, if she ever needs medical care again, she will have to fight for care and her rights to accommodation and to be free from discrimination.
Source: Letter from Disability Rights Oregon, an organization that works for non-discriminatory access to life-saving medical care for all.