Statement of Principle on the Withdrawal of Nutrition from Persons with Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities Jun 17, 2012
The mother of two adult children, one male and one female, with Sanfilippo syndrome – a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder with no known cure – was a guest on the Dr. Phil show on April 13, 2012. The mother was there to discuss what she claimed was her right to remove feeding tubes (G-tubes) from her children. Her children were dependent on nourishment through these tubes, having been dependent on this method of nutritional support for decades. The program was somewhat one-sided in favor of the mother’s position, and at the end of the program, the audience voted overwhelmingly that she had a right to disengage the tubes. The concern of the AADMD is that the average person on the street will look at a human being who could have one of any number of neurodevelopmental disorders, and judge that person as either terminally ill, or judge them as a person living a life without hope or meaning. We thought it was important to make the statement that people with neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities are neither terminally ill nor living lives without hope or value. To regard them as anything other than human beings whose lives have value is to diminish all of our lives. It is morally and ethically wrong and the Academy wishes to accentuate this point. The appended AADMD Position Statement expresses our unified belief on the principles set forth in the attachment that follows...
Henry Hood, DMD
Co Chair, External Affairs