Special Needs Discrimination in Healthcare.  It’s real, just like it is real throughout our society.

I was naive.  I had seen it in my everyday life with Rowan..  in the occasional act of unnecessary compassion from a friend, in a therapist who thought his diagnosis defined his capabilities, in the surprised look of an acquaintance when we said that he would be attending her child’s preschool, in the occasional look of pity from a stranger.  But I never expected to see it from a doctor.  Rowan hadn’t ever been sick, so I didn’t have the chance to learn what other parents already knew, and I was blindsided.

We believe that special needs discrimination is the ultimate reason why our son was killed.

Rowan was different, but equal.

He was different, because he could not be given anesthesia.  He was equal, because his life mattered as much as yours or mine.

Rowan suffered discrimination in his care:

  • The doctors did not treat him as different, because they refused to provide a simple accommodation, for Rowan’s special need – the avoidance of anesthesia
  • The doctors did not treat him as equal, because 1. Dr. Fripp unjustifiably labeled Rowan as uncooperative, and therefore denied him safe diagnostic imaging and 2.  he was refused basic life-saving precautions (see Report to the Medical Board)

Rowan continues to suffer discrimination after death:

  • The CDPH is not treating him as different because they are allowing the hospital to justify his abysmal care in stating that 1.  it is “a common practice in pediatrics to not insert an IV line prior to anesthesia induction” and 2. basic state standards for the general population were followed (though these standards are far below those of neighboring hospitals)
  • The hospital is not treating him as equal because they are justifying his death by stating that “he was very sick”. (though those that have read this site can see clearly that this justification was created after they killed him, we still ask: why does it matter? It is not okay to kill anyone, regardless of whether or not they are “sick”)

I cannot understand how these two things continue to happen at once, and how society continues to let them.