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Medical debate: Should autism block a man from getting a heart transplant?

Posted Aug 14 2012 7:43pm

Earlier this year a story came out about a child being denied a transplant due to developmental disability. Now we have a story of an autistic adult possibly being denied a heart transplant due to autism. In Medical debate: Should autism block a man from getting a heart transplant? we read:

Twenty-three-year-old Paul Corby has a bad heart and a flawed mind.

The question before doctors now is whether his mental problems – he has a form of autism – are severe enough to make him a bad candidate for a heart transplant.

How characterizing him as having a “flawed mind” is helping, at all, is a good topic for discussion on its own.

Mr. Corby’s mother has started a petition :

My son Paul was denied placement on the heart transplant list because of his mental disability. The doctor was more interested in the fact that he could not name all his medications (he takes 19 at the present time) and the Princess Peach doll he carries for comfort, than the fact that he has never smoked or drank alcohol. Where will the discrimination end?

Paul is a wonderful boy that has taken his mental and physical illness in stride. He has just completed his first novel geared toward preteens. We are now in the process of having it self-published. This is really the only thing that keeps his mind off of his mortality. How do I explain to him why he can’t have a new heart?

Can you help us tell the Transplant Committee they are wrong and he deserves the chance to grow old and watch his two young nephews grow up?

The petition has over 11,000 signatures so far.

By Matt Carey

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