Sunday, January 15, 2012

Denied transplant due to intellectual disability?

This is a very hard story to read, let alone think about it happening to our family.  Imagine your child, who just happens to have an intellectual disability, needs a kidney transplant.  Imagine that a willing family donor is found and will lovingly give the gift of life to your child.  Now imagine that the physician refuses to perform the transplant because your child is mentally retarded.  Sounds like something that might have happened fifty, twenty, ten years ago.  Not here in America, but some third world country right?

NO, this nightmare is happening to a family here in the United States, now.  Read below.  I would love to hear your thoughts........

Hospital Denies Kidney Transplant to Girl With Intellectual Disability

By , Guide   January 13, 2012

Often, when we rail against the R-word, it's hard to get people to accept that belittling people with intellectual disabilities has repercussions, hard to make the case that turning a certain group of people into a joke dehumanizes them in a way that has a long and tragic history. People don't think they're doing that, they don't mean to do that, they don't see the harm.
Well, here's the harm: A little girl getting turned down for a kidney transplant, even with a family donor, because, as the doctor kept pointing out to her mother, she has mental retardation!
According to a massively upsetting blog post, a doctor -- someone we expect to value life, to fight for it, someone we expect to have an absolutely up-to-the-minute understanding of human potential -- could not be made to understand that a child with an intellectual disability could possibly have a quality of life that warranted such a medical procedure. Could not be made to understand that her parents could value her life that much. Became angry at the very notion that anybody would want to fight for a child like this. And then had the nerve to claim that this was hard for him!
We spend a lot of time fighting for inclusion andrespect for our kids. We like to believe that we're past the point of fighting for their right to be alive. Yet it seems unlikely that the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is alone in its policy of setting an IQ level as a cut-off point for this kind of life-saving treatment. How can this be, now, in 2012? Aren't we past this?
If you'd like to give the hospital a piece of your mind, there's quite an angry mob forming on its Facebook page, so take up your torch and join in. There's also a petition up at Change.orgdemanding the hospital allow the transplant (and another seeking changes in transplant policies nationwide). Perhaps public-relations embarrassment will do what simple human decency could not.

Be gentle.

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