Hospital Refuses to Place Young Man on Heart Transplant List Because He’s Autistic

Paul Corby

Paul Corby

A 23-year-old man is being refused a possible heart transplant by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania because he is autistic, says his mother Karen Corby. Paul Corby, who was diagnosed with a deadly heart condition four years ago, will die without a new heart–but so far the hospital has refused to place him on the transplant list.

Karen sent this plea:

Paul’s doctor says one of the reasons he doesn’t qualify for a transplant is that he can’t name all the medications he’s on. This is ridiculous, because Paul takes 19 medications. My son has faced discrimination because of his autism all his life, but this time, that discrimination could kill him.

I was devastated when I found out the hospital wouldn’t help Paul — it was the worst moment any mother could imagine. But then I read about another mom who got her mentally disabled daughter on the list for a life-saving kidney transplant after more than 50,000 people signed her petition on That’s what inspired me to start my petition for Paul. I know that if enough people sign my petition, the hospital will give my son a chance to survive.

You can read more on Paul’s story, and sign the petition, on


Melanie Mayo-Laakso


Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.

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