The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies DEMAND JUSTICE for the murder of Michael Hickson
The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, our partners and allies denounce the murder of Michael Hickson, a 46-year-old disabled Black man. Mr. Hickson was admitted to St. David’s Austin Medical Center in Texas on June 2, 2020, due to symptoms related to COVID-19. Michael Hickson was then placed in hospice for six days, during which he was starved, denied hydration and treatment, and died.
The decision to place Michael Hickson in hospice was made by hospital staff and a court appointed guardian, despite pleas from his wife, Melissa Hickson, to provide alternative treatment. Ms. Hickson uploaded the audio of a conversation she had with her husband’s physician; you can find that here. You can also listen to more from her here.
The horrific murder of Mr. Hickson is not a solitary event. Over 50,000 people, around 43% of the total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 in the United States, have lost their lives in hospitals, nursing homes and other congregate care facilities. The vast majority of these deaths have been people with disabilities, many of who are disproportionately Black and Brown. Our systems that are allegedly designed to protect disabled people have failed, and instead are killing us by the tens of thousands.
We mourn the death of Michael Hickson and every casualty of the callous and neglectful healthcare system that devalues the lives of people with disabilities. We fight for the lives of the other disabled Black and Brown people as we hold our systems accountable.
We demand justice for Michael Hickson, his wife, Melissa, and their five children.