A two-part response to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s article: “Medical debate: Should autism block a man from getting a heart transplant?”– August 15, 2012. http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20120814_Medical_debate__Should_autism_block_a_man_from_getting_a_heart_transplant_.html
Autism is a neurological difference, not a “mental problem.” Describing an autistic person as having a “flawed mind” is blatantly incorrect, dangerously ignorant, and psychologically hurtful to a recently estimated 1% of the world’s population. How do I know? I listen to my 37-year-old daughter Peyton. From her, you will hear no despair about her neurological differences, but an appeal to be seen and treated as a real person, supported to share her gifts as a valued member of her community. A committee of doctors deciding who gets a chance to live should begin with truthful understandings. Denying opportunity for treatment to those labeled autistic is murder, and it is pre-mediated.
I’m Peyton Goddard, called by you autistic. Wherever I look, I’m pitied. I’m pointed to as trash. I’m esteemed as exempt. It hurts. And I’m tired of it. I’m trying to find peace, but powered pointers say I’m expendable. It is a life painfully sharp and feared. I’m no fool. I’m a real person whether you like it or not. I’m eased where you see my quest to live potently and I’m greeted as a real person. Poignantly I want you to stop jeering at me as feared, fretted murder by tyranny of killing persons of differed gifts. It is treasures in each that ready us for peace where I’m freed to live. I’m ready to greet you, nary to error you. Are you ready to error me no longer? Yearn I you see this as way to greet peace.