It became clear after hearing from one side at a time that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Rivera family of South Jersey had not been effectively communicating.
Both made headlines last month when the family accused the hospital of denying 3-year-old Amelia Rivera a kidney transplant because she has a mental disability.
CHOP and the family issued a joint statement today. It appears everyone’s now on the same page, but a decision hasn’t been made yet regarding the transplant.
“We are completely committed to the careful review of our processes and written material to ensure that we are sensitive to the needs of all families, including the specific needs of families of children with disabilities,” reads a portion of CHOP’s statement. “While we can unequivocally state that we do not disqualify transplant patients on the basis of intellectual ability, and have a history of transplanting children that have a wide range of disabilities, this event underscores the importance of our responsibility to effectively communicate with families.”
Chrissy and Joseph Rivera say they’re putting the confusion aside to concentrate on their daughter’s care: “If our experience can ensure that our daughter is seen as Amelia, and not as a diagnosis of her mental abilities, we feel it will go a long way in making sure no parent has to endure the emotional distress that we faced during this difficult time.”
CHOP says it will not have further public comment on the matter.