I must admit that I read quite a bit of news. Much of it, I read on news apps on my phone during breaks, but sometimes, I see an article go by in my Facebook news feed that catches my eye. Yesterday, there was an article that a couple of my Facebook friends shared, and I just had to read it.
This story was about a young man named Paul. Paul is a 23-year old man who happens to have Autism. He is healthy, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, but he has one major problem. He has the same heart ailment that killed his father at the age of 27.
Paul needs a heart transplant; however, the Transplant Committee has denied him the ability to even be put on the heart transplant list. Why? Well, I’m not a doctor, nor do I even know him or his family, but the article that I read states that one of the reasons given is that Paul has Autism.
Really? What about Autism would cause problems with a lifesaving surgery? From what I’ve read, Paul has a large support network of family members who would ensure that he would be taken care of before, during, and after the procedure and that he would take the medications needed after a transplant. He already takes 19 medications every day.
How did we get to this point that people could be denied a lifesaving surgery because they have Autism?
As I said before, I do not know this family, but I feel so bad for them if this decision was truly based on the fact that Paul has Autism. He is a human. He deserves the same medical care as a person without Autism. It is unconscionable to think that parents of children with Autism not only have to fight for the basic treatment for their children’s Autism symptoms and fight the stigma that is placed on their children because of Autism, but they also have to fight for what seems like necessary treatment for life. Really?
Paul’s mother has started a petition to have ask the Transplant Committee change the decision. Let’s keep this family in our prayers!