Was this child denied treatment becuase of her mental retardation?

Imagine going to your childs doctor and being told we won't treat your child because she is mentally retarded. Which is saying "treatment for your child will be a waste of time. The quality of life will for her not be improved."

A Philadelphia hospital is under the gun after reportedly telling one mom her daughter would not be able to receive a kidney transplant because the 3-year-old has an intellectual disability. ABC News reports that Amelia "Mia" Rivera has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a complex genetic disorder that causes mental and physical impairments, and her family said that the 3-year-old will die if she does not get a kidney in the next six months to a year.

Chrissy Rivera wrote about her daughter’s experience at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in a blog post last week. Since then, more than 18,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the hospital to reverse their position.

Here is a snippet from Chrissy's blog:

After the labs, Amelia falls asleep in her stroller and we are called back to a large room with a screen and about sixteen chairs. Joe and I get comfortable and leave a space between us to fit the stroller. After about five minutes, a doctor and a social worker enter the room. They sit across from us but also leave a space between the two of them.

The doctor begins to talk and I listen intently on what he is saying. He has a Peruvian accent and is small, with brown hair, a mustache and is about sixty five years old. He gets about four sentences out ( I think it is an introduction) and places two sheets of paper on the table. I can’t take my eyes off the paper. I am afraid to look over at Joe because I suddenly know where the conversation is headed. In the middle of both papers, he highlighted in pink two phrases. Paper number one has the words, “Mentally Retarded” in cotton candy pink right under Hepatitis C. Paper number two has the phrase, “Brain Damage” in the same pink right under HIV. I remind myself to focus and look back at the doctor. I am still smiling.

He says about three more sentences when something sparks in my brain. First it is hazy, foggy, like I am swimming under water. I actually shake my head a little to clear it. And then my brain focuses on what he just said.

I put my hand up. “Stop talking for a minute. Did you just say that Amelia shouldn’t have the transplant done because she is mentally retarded. I am confused. Did you really just say that?”

The tears. Oh, the damn tears. Where did they come from? Niagara Falls. All at once. There was no warning. I couldn’t stop them. There were no tissues in conference room so I use my sleeve and my hands and I keep wiping telling myself to stop it.

I point to the paper and he lets me rant a minute. I can’t stop pointing to the paper. “This phrase. This word. This is why she can’t have the transplant done.”


All children are blessed in the sight of God.



Anonymous said...

Richard, I have just written a lengthy response to this but blasted blogger has eaten it!!

I am incandescent with rage!! As a person with a significant vision impairment (needs guide dog, reads Braille, uses www.satogo.com to access the computer world), I am sickened to the core! This is a filthy afront to anybody with a disability!! Are we worth less?? Are we less human?? are we more of a burden therefore less cost efficient and deserving of something that might just keep an 'able bodied' alive rather than a faulty, costly, millstone?? NO!! THIS MUST STOP NOW!!Who has the right to determine the worth of one life over another!! WHO!!

And who will it be next that is rejected because they are not 'perfect enough;??

will it be to the person with DS 'we cannot give you a transplant'
or the person with vision impairment/blindness 'we cannot give you a transplant'
or to the person with turners syndrome 'we cannot give you a transplant'
or to the person with muscular distrophy 'we cannot give you a transplant'...

And the fact that they use the word RETARDED!! filthy scum!! This little child is a girl, a three year old with her whole life ahead of her who happens to have an intellectual disability!! We are made in the image and likeness of God!! And what does God say of His children with a disability?? What does he command and commend? (exod 4: 10-12)

this world measures one's capacity to deserve life on a supposed notion of ability, productivity and success framed in the language of a supposed 'able bodied norm' that precludes anything else from being considered viable!!

See if L'Arche can be brought in to advocate for this little one and her family, see if the mighty Jean Vanierre (sp) can be called upon to address the filthy attitude peddled by the likes of this diabolical supposed doctor and social worker!!


Also, direct the family to
Once the incredible Joni Ericson Tarda hears about this, there'll be hell to pay for that supposed house of healing (who only heals those it deems worthy along guidelines drawn up by 'able bodieds')!!

This has implications for all of us, as this is the first step on a slippery slope, mark my words!

Bl. Margaret of Castello, pray for us
Bl. Rafka, pray for us
St. •Rita of Cascia
, pray for us
and finally, I call on one who was mighty in life to pray for this child of the King...bl. Emperor Karl I, Pray for us.



Brantigny said...

Sarah I have always loved your passion.