Monday, December 13, 2021
Disability Affirmative Action Requirements for the U.S. HHS and Academic Medicine Centers Under the Rehabilitation Act
Nicholas D. Lawson (Georgetown University), Disability Affirmative Action Requirements for the U.S. HHS and Academic Medicine Centers Under the Rehabilitation Act, Hastings Ctr. Rep. (2021):
Medical professionals exert enormous influence over the lives of persons with disabilities by providing medical care and by generating medical research and medical information about them that forms the basis for policies and practices that affect their everyday lives. Yet persons with disabilities remain substantially underrepresented within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. HHS) workforce and in the medical profession more generally. These institutions also appear to be noncompliant with their obligations to engage in disability affirmative action under Sections 501 and 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. This Essay provides an introduction to some of these disability affirmative action requirements and contrasts these obligations with medical leaders’ “well-being” and “burnout” medical research conducted on employees, and further enabled through the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.” These behaviors, it is argued, are fundamentally exploitative, socially irresponsible, and likely to result in defective health policies and medical products. The Essay calls for a wholesale change in approach to persons with disabilities within the health and medical professions.