Families are Essential Partners in Care

This illustration honours Ariis Knight, who tragically died in hospital without family or a support person to communicate with at her side. It is drawn in collaboration with PLAN.ca and Ariis’ family. Patients with disabilities need the care and advocacy of people who know them – especially in a hospital during COVID19.

Poster illustrating a portrait of Ariis Knight. The text reads, The presence of family or a support person can reduce anxiety, support patient safety, and enable good communication and decision-making. We are not visitors, we are essential partners in care. Ariis' Law #NotJustaVisitor.

In the wake of Ariis Knight’s tragic death, disability organizations have called for a clear province-wide policy. “This policy should allow people with disabilities to have an essential support person present during hospitalization. We recognize that hospitals must limit visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many cases, such accommodation is fundamental to communication and informed consent to care.”

Family members and support people are not visitors. They are essential partners in care. #NotJustAVisitor #AriisLaw

Open letter re: Essential Support Person(s) for Patients with Disabilities

Importantly, members of the disability community also reached out to me for an adjustment to the original poster. The hallmark of the disability rights movement has always been ‘nothing about us, without us’ and so the version of this image for social media centers the voice of people with disabilities. The closing text about families or a support person reads, “They are not visitors, they are essential partners in care.”

 

Poster illustrating a portrait of Ariis Knight. The text reads, The presence of family or a support person can reduce anxiety, support patient safety, and enable good communication and decision-making. We are not visitors, we are essential partners in care. Ariis' Law #NotJustaVisitor.