Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A life put to a vote

Elizabeth Scalia wrote about this terrible situation, found here:

“So you mean to tell me that as a doctor, you are not recommending the transplant, and when her kidneys fail in six months to a year, you want me to let her die because she is mentally retarded? There is no other medical reason for her not to have this transplant other than she is MENTALLY RETARDED!”

“Yes. This is hard for me, you know.”

My eyes burn through his soul as if I could set him on fire right there. “Ok, so now what? This is not acceptable to me. Who do I talk to next?”

“I will take this back to the team. We meet once a month. I will tell them I do not recommend Amelia for a transplant because she is mentally retarded and we will vote.”

“And then who do I see?”

“Well, you can then take it the ethics committee but as a team we have the final say. Feel free to go somewhere else. But it won’t be done here.”

They both get up and leave the room.

According to the mother who wrote the story, this is not uncommon. Why is this not seen as a form of eugenics, forcing the "unfit" to die? Why is there not more outcry that a little girl would be denied a necessary organ because of brain damage? Who makes the determination of who is "fit" and who is not?

No comments:

Post a Comment