Three-year-old Amelia Rivera has a rare genetic disease called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. She suffers from mental impairment, epileptic-like seizures, and she can't walk or talk. Besides her illness she's in desperate need of a kidney transplant to live to see her fourth birthday. But the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Amelia is treated, told Amelia’s family that they would not perform a transplant even if a family member donates a kidney. The reason, according to her mother's blog, is because she is “mentally retarded.”
Dr. Art Caplan is a professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, who is familiar with the ethical questions surrounding transplant cases.