[medical discrimination, medical abuse, ableism] Ableism kills, and it is killing people right now.

User youneedacat is in the hospital right now waiting to undergo a lifesaving procedure. This morning, someone came to her room, woke her up and tried to talk her out of going through with the procedure. It’s clear that in the absence of her advocate who has power of attorney, she would probably be denied this procedure.

We’re talking about a published author here.

A rather famous advocacy activist.[Wired Magazine feature]

Because of vile lies about Autism spread by organizations like Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now and a slew of other vicious orgs, people believe we are “empty husks”, that we are “autistic shells”, that we have no quality of life.

People with cognitive disabilities are routinely denied lifesaving medical procedures because it is commonly believed we have no quality of life, that we are “suffering [from Autism]” that we in some kind of misery that we should be “put out of”.

This happens all the time. [ASAN report]

46% of heart programs indicated that even mild or moderate cognitive impairment would be a relative contraindication
… 71% of heart programs surveyed always or usually utilized neurodevelopmental status in determinations of eligibility for transplantation..


And right now, this person:

I tell her that I asked one of the world’s leading authorities on autism to check out the video. The expert’s opinion: Baggs must have had outside help creating it, perhaps from one of her caregivers. Her inability to talk, coupled with repetitive behaviors, lack of eye contact, and the need for assistance with everyday tasks are telltale signs of severe autism. Among all autistics, 75 percent are expected to score in the mentally retarded range on standard intelligence tests — that’s an IQ of 70 or less.

After I explain the scientist’s doubts, Baggs grunts, and her mouth forms just a hint of a smirk as she lets loose a salvo on the keyboard. No one helped her shoot the video, edit it, and upload it to YouTube. She used a Sony Cybershot DSC-T1, a digital camera that can record up to 90 seconds of video (she has since upgraded). She then patched the footage together using the editing programs RAD Video Tools, VirtualDub, and DivXLand Media Subtitler. “My care provider wouldn’t even know how to work the software,” she says.

is in the hospital, with doctors trying to talk her out of saving her own life. Because to them, her life is not worth saving.

This is how your “awareness” kills.

This is how your language kills.

This is how your misinformation kills.

All I can say is that I am eternally thankful that she has an advocate in her corner right now to defend her basic human rights to receiving medical care for a life threatening condition. All too often, autistic people are denied care by medical facilities, by their caregivers, by their own family members. This is unconscionable and downright evil. This cannot stand.