Muscular Dystrophy UK has responded to new guidelines from the British Medical Association (BMA) on treatment for people with Covid-19. You can read this guidance here, which advises medics may need to prioritise care if the NHS becomes overwhelmed with new cases.
Rob Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:
This is already a worrying time for disabled people and their families. People with a muscle-wasting condition are extremely vulnerable as they face months of isolation. They have been concerned for some time now that they will not receive treatment if they test positive for Covid-19. This guidance from the BMA exacerbates that fear.
We are working with clinicians to interpret the guidance. They have been clear it should be individual prognosis, not a diagnosis, that determines any decisions about treatment. But there is a big risk this won’t happen on the ground, and we are seeking assurances that assumptions will not be made about people’s quality of life based on their disability. The guidance around treatment is based on a scenario in which the NHS is overwhelmed, so we strongly urge the government to make it a priority to provide enough resources and equipment to avoid reaching this point.
Now is a time where people need clarity and reassurance. It is imperative clinicians make decisions on a case-by-case basis, not based purely on someone’s condition, and we would welcome the BMA and other groups making this clear.
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Notes to editors
About muscle-wasting conditions
- More than 70,000 children and adults in the UK have a muscle-wasting condition.
- Muscle-wasting conditions may be inherited or strike out of the blue. These conditions cause muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasingly severe disability. Some affect the heart and muscles vital for breathing, cutting lives short.
Muscular Dystrophy UK
- Muscular Dystrophy UK is the charity for 70,000 children and adults living with muscle-wasting conditions. We provide vital information, advice and support to help people live as independently as possible. We accelerate progress in research and drive the campaign for access to emerging treatments.