The Associated Press is covering the story of Paul Corby, the young ASD man who did not qualify for a heart transplant, in part because of his ASD.
One expert on medical ethics said it's legitimate for the mother to raise the point, but there's an even bigger one, too.
"The thing to keep in mind is if more of us would sign donor cards, there would be less pressure to reject anybody. It's the huge shortage of hearts that really drives this problem," said Arthur Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University's Langone Medical Center.
Mindful of a similar incident in Philadelphia where a New Jersey family's daughter was denied a kidney transplant because of mental disabilities — a decision that went viral online — [Karen] Corby began her own online petition.
"There has been a huge outpouring of support from Autism groups all over the country," she said in an email to The Associated Press, noting that the number of signers has jumped from 1,500 in April to just more than 13,000 on Thursday. "I would not have found the strength to continue fighting had it not been for them."AP coverage makes a huge difference in gaining prominence for a story. As of 4:07 PM PDT, more than 55,000 people had signed.
On YouTube, a person with cerebral palsy endorses the petition: