In my last post, I noted the post where Amelia Rivera's parents were told by a doctor that Amelia did not have a right to live because she is "mentally retarded" and "brain damaged." I was right. I didn't get any sleep that night. The thought that there are people- professionals who are supposed to be familiar with disabilities and the rights of people with disabilities- is terrifying.
Note I didn't say "surprising." Unfortunately, we know better. We know the ignorance remains, even in people who should know better. Who are trained to know better. Who we trust to know better. Even people who say they know better.
That is why the fight for Amelia is so important. There is no excuse for anyone to deny someone the right to live, especially by denying them appropriate medical care and service. Professionals of a children's hospital know better. If they don't, the hospital should take measures to find out why, and make sure everyone on their staff knows better, and believes that all people are due their basic rights.
Not just the doctors, nurses, and social workers, either. Everyone. The administrators, the assistants, the janitorial staff, the cafeteria staff, the volunteers, the secretaries... everyone.
Disability is no excuse for denying a person- no matter their age or your assumptions about their "quality of life"- the right to live. People with disabilities are already actively targeted for bullying and crime; they don't need to be targeted in a hospital, when they are trying to get medical care.
This is important. Today, it is Amelia. Tomorrow, it could be Joey. Or Andy. Or you.
To see a list of more posts written for Amelia and disability rights- such as the right to LIVE- check out this site.
And please: sign the petition!