This was posted yesterday but closed because it linked to a blog post instead of a news article. It’s hit the news now. An adorable 3-yr-old girl named Amelia has 6-12 months to live if she doesn’t get a new kidney. Her family isn’t asking for a donor kidney, but is giving one themselves. They just need a surgeon to do her surgery.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia kidney transplant doctor refuses to do her surgery because the girl has an intellectual disability. He says she won’t have any “quality of life” to have to continue living with “mental retardation” so he’d rather she just die. The doctor then berated the mother for her and her family loving the little girl and being informed and involved in her care.
The hospital put a press release out on their facebook page. It’s mumbo-jumbo lawyer talk which says that it wasn’t just because she has an intellectual disability, but also because she won’t live independently when she’s an adult. In other words, it is just because of her lower IQ. The American Journal of Transplantation directly refutes this as a basis for denying transplants, which I’ll post as a follow-up.
Two more women have come forward saying the same hospital discriminated against others in the same way.
“We were told that at CHOP that our daughter would not be eligible for a liver transplant because of cognitive impairment and because she would not achieve ‘independent living’ - those were the reasons given. Not medical ones, but ones based on value-judgements regarding intellectual disability.”
“I might be willing to think there is some other reason behind Amelia’s denial if I didn’t know another family that was told something very similar recently. Spin PR all you want to, but please think seriously about revising your policies.”
Mom’s Story: wolfhirschhorn.org/2012/01/amelia/brick-walls/
The Hospital’s Facebook: facebook.com/ChildrensHospitalofPhiladelphia