Mom: Girl denied transplant because she’s “mentally retarded”

A Philadelphia children’s hospital allegedly denied a kidney transplant to a three-year-old girl with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome because of her disability, prompting outrage and a petition, signed by more than 30,000 people as of Wednesday evening, demanding that the hospital reconsider.

Stethoscope and gavel
Medical Justice

The girl’s mother, Chrissy Rivera, detailed the exchange at the hospital in a recent blog post.

On January 10, the Rivera family went to the hospital to request a kidney transplant for their daughter, whose condition requires a kidney transplant within six months to a year. According to the blog post, the doctor denied their request, handing them papers with the phrases “Mentally Retarded” and “Brain Damage” in highlighter.

“We are in the year 2012 and my child still does not have the right to live, the right to a transplant, because she is developmentally delayed,” Chrissy said in the blog post.

The hospital – which said that it “does not disqualify potential transplant candidates on the basis of intellectual abilities” – has agreed to meet with the Rivera family next week to further discuss transplant options, according to an Associated Press article.

Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome is a genetic condition that affects about one in 50,000 children and is distinct facial appearance – including a high forehead and broad nose – delayed growth and development, intellectual disability, and seizures, according to a  CBS News story.

A CBS News video on the store can be viewed here.