Jewish Journal | Michelle K. Wolf
~Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
As I was thinking about how exactly to make a connection between Martin Luther King Jr. and disabilities/special needs, along came a blog post from Ellen Seidman over at Love That Max, quoting from blogger Chrissy Rivera about her daughter, Amelia, a 2-year with a rare genetic condition whose doctor at Children’s Hospital Philadelphia (CHOP) has recommended that her daughter not receive a kidney transplant largely because Amelia is “mentally retarded.” You can read Chrissy’s post here.
Without this kidney transplant, Amelia will die within six months to a year.
It’s unbelievable that in 2012, this could happen, and yet cognitive ability is apparently part of the standard criteria in deciding who gets (or doesn’t get) an organ donation. (And in Amelia’s case, the family is willing to use a family donor, so the issue isn’t just the scarcity of viable organs).
It reminds me of that ugly chapter in our American history when southern states were allowed to count slaves as 3/5 persons for purposes of apportionment in Congress (even though the slaves could not, of course, vote.). In CHOP’s approach, some people clearly “count” more than others.
What would MLK have done? Organized a protest in front of CHOP maybe, or called on the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer to pen a strongly-worded editorial condemning this denial?