Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources During a Pandemic [Updated August 18, 2008] [open pdf - 203KB]
The emergency response required to combat a potential outbreak of avian influenza is examined in this CRS report through the lens of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). From the text: "The emergence and rapid spread of a new avian influenza virus (H5N1) and its potential for causing a human influenza pandemic have given rise to numerous issues. One of these is the general lack of surge capacity within the U.S. health-care system. Essentially, this means that a severe influenza pandemic could lead to much greater demand for vaccines, antiviral medications, and other medical technology, such as ventilators, than there are supplies. This potential imbalance has led to recommendations for priorities for medical resources for certain categories of individuals, including recommendations in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pandemic Influenza Plan and more recent guidance by a federal interagency working group. This report examines selected proposed priorities in light of the nondiscrimination provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It will be updated as appropriate."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33381