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  • Writer's pictureErica Livingston

Alarming Health Care Statistics for Disabled individuals

Unfortunately, some doctors don’t believe the quality of special needs life is worth saving.

There is no federal guideline (that’s enforced at least) to protect disabled individuals, such as those with Down syndrome and autism, from discrimination in transplant surgeries and other medical needs. Only about half of the states now have regulations that protect these individuals, to allow them to be put on transplant lists if needed. And for the states that do have these regulations, the vast majority of them just went through in 2020 and 2021.

Also, 43% of organ transplant centers said they wouldn't add a child with some level of neurodevelopmental disability to the organ transplant list. 85% may consider the disability as a factor in deciding whether to list the child.

This is a huge problem. But transplants aren’t the only medical issues being impacted. Disabled people who get covid are also having to hide their mental disabilities so they aren’t discriminated against for medical care, because some are being told they won’t receive a vent if they are low. “An analysis of policies in 30 U.S. states, conducted by the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity, found that all but 3 have adopted policies that could deny necessary care to disabled people during the pandemic, particularly people with cognitive disabilities such as autism“ (Luterman, 2020).

If this does not infuriate you, you’re part of the problem. Just because an individual has a cognitive disability does not mean they do not have quality of life. Happiness does not just come in the form of a traditional life. While I love science and listen to doctors, any doctor that does not believe my child’s life is worth saving because he is autistic should lose their license.

Autistic and other disabled individuals have to already overcome so many hurdles in life. They should never have to feel that they, or their family, must hide their diagnosis just to simply receive life saving care. Our country claims to be so advanced and the greatest country in the world, but so many people do not fall into that category, particularly minorities, women, and disabled individuals.

We need to demand our children receive the same care everyone else does and not accept anything less. We will never see change unless we become the change.

How can you make a difference:

  • Get in touch with your local politicians, demand change.

  • Pay attention to political party stances on disability. VOTE FOR CHANGE.

  • Share the facts!

  • Do not take no for an answer.

  • And finally, never give up.


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