As I sit down to write this I cannot even remember where I first saw this story - I think it may have been on twitter. But once I read this story I could not get it out of my mind.
If you haven't read it yet I would strongly suggest you go and read it now at the following link - Brick Walls. Basically, it's about a little girl with disabilities who's parents were told she would not be approved for a kidney transplant because she is mentally disabled.
As a parent and caregiver to children with a wide variety of disabilities - NLD, ADHD, mild cerebral palsy, mild to moderate developmental delays, possible mood disorder - this is both very sad and very scary.
It is sad to think of a parent having to hear these words. It is sad to think of a beautiful little girl being denied the gift of life simply because she is disabled. It is sad to think of a family hurting because of the decisions callously made by others who think they have the right to decide who has a chance at life and who does not.
And it is scary to think that there are those in the medical profession who would make decisions like these based on these criteria. Because if it can happen to them, can it happen to my kids too? Will they at some point be denied care because of their disabilities? What if the disabilities listed on paper overshadow, in some doctor's mind, the reality of the awesome kids they are in real life?
These are real and important questions that cannot be ignored.
To be totally fair, we have not heard the hospital's side of the story and probably will not. Privacy laws, if nothing else, would keep them from being able to share all the details. However, it is hard for me to understand why there would be a need for the parents of this little girl to make up a story like this.
The good news is that this story is not being ignored and there are a number of other bloggers and other writers who are sharing this story.
Here is a partial list of those articles:
I hope the doctors realize that this story will not go away and rethink their position on this. And I hope that sharing this will help doctors everywhere who have this mindset realize that parents and caretakers of children with disabilities will not take this kind of treatment sitting down.