Refinery 29: New Jersey’s Nursing Home Deaths Reveal our Problem with Elder Discrimination, (April 16, 2020)
This article about the high number of deaths in nursing facilities from COVID-19 shines a light on the systemic ageism that devalues seniors’ lives in health care settings. The article goes on to talk about states, such as Massachusetts, that have issued discriminatory policies that prioritize ventilators and life-saving procedures for younger patients. The article mentions our letter to the state’s governor and quotes from it, saying, the state’s policy, “violates the antidiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act” related to age discrimination. The guidance includes a framework requiring assessments for life-saving resources be made to prioritize “maximizing life years saved” by taking a patient’s long-term prognosis into consideration, as well as “life-cycle considerations,” which prioritize younger patients.