Governor Pritzker Announces Guidance in Non-Discrimination in Emergency Healthcare


April 10, 2020 | by Amber Smock

BREAKING – Governor Pritzker Announces Guidance in Non-Discrimination in Emergency Healthcare

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, fear of bias in medical emergency situations has become a top concern for social justice advocates from a range of marginalized groups.

Today, Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois took an important first step forward by announcing new guidance regarding non-discrimination in emergency healthcare situations. The guidance is available at this link. This is the direct result of concerns expressed by more than 140 Illinois organizations in a March 30 letter to the State coordinated by Access Living (see this link for the letter).

Following delivery of this letter, Access Living worked closely with State officials to ensure that the Illinois guidance was informed by federal guidance and the groundbreaking work of disability advocates nationwide.

Access Living applauds the State’s work on this guidance, which lays out critical nondiscrimination principles. We have also asked the State to issue a directive that lays out specific protocols for emergency healthcare triage, and we will continue to work with the State on this matter.  The guidance is a strong pronouncement, and we look forward to the issuance of protocols that operationalize the principles in the guidance.

The COVID-19 virus may not discriminate in its infections, but marginalized groups have historically experienced deep rooted bias in our healthcare and overall social systems.

We are glad to see that the Pritzker administration has taken our concerns seriously and look forward to the development of a protocol.

Please share widely.

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy
Access Living