According to news reports today, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta refused to put Anthony Stokes, a 15-year-old boy with an enlarged heart, on the heart transplant list due to his failures to take his medication as directed.
The doctors claimed his previous issues with non-compliance should bar him from being eligible for a new heart. What sad news coming out of Atlanta! As advocates, we believe we must educate patients that are non-adherent, not punish them. Three out of every four Americans do not take their medication as directed, making non-compliance a flimsy excuse for refusing to treat someone or eliminating their path to a potentially life-saving procedure. Non-adherence is a widespread and complicated issue that requires communication and support from doctors and healthcare providers. If the doctors feared a heart transplant would be unsuccessful because the patient didn’t take his medications properly, the onus should be on them to educate the patient as to why adherence is necessary to improve overall health results. Did his doctors take the time to ask him WHY he wasn’t taking his medication as directed? To find out more information about the importance of taking medications as directed and pledge that you will adhere please visit ScriptYourfuture.org.