A Cornell Law School professor has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state health department’s recent directive concerning COVID-19 treatments. The directive says medical providers should prioritize giving monoclonal and antibody treatment to “non-whites” and Hispanic individuals, as race is considered a risk factor.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Albany by William Jacobson, director of Securities Law Clinic at Cornell. The complaint says the policy directive is “patently unconstitutional,” reports the Albany Times Union.
“Using a patient’s skin color or ethnicity as a basis for deciding who should receive lifesaving medical treatment is appalling,” says the lawsuit. “And directing medical professionals to award or deny medical care based on immutable characteristics such as skin color, without regard to the actual health condition of the individual who is seeking these antiviral treatments, is nothing more than an attempt to establish a racial hierarchy in the provision of life-saving medicine.”
The state health department responded on Monday, saying that the directive is based on CDC guidelines that show COVID-19 mortality rates are higher among certain demographics, which includes senior citizens and immunocompromised people as well.
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