Due to an enlarged heart, Anthony Stokes, a 15-year-old boy, may die in six months or fewer if he doesn’t receive a transplant.

The thing is, if and when a transplant becomes available, Stokes might not receive it due to, according to members of his family, his low grades and past trouble with the law:


“They said they don’t have any evidence that he would take his medicine or that he would go to his follow-ups,” Melencia Hamilton, Anthony’s mother, told WSBTV News. Hamilton explained that her son has an enlarged heart, and a transplant is the only thing that will help his condition.


The doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta weren’t very specific about what exactly contributed to their decision to label Anthony as “non-compliant.” But family friends explained to WSBTV News that they were told it’s partly because of Anthony’s performance in school and run-ins with law enforcement.

His family and friends don’t accept that as a valid reason to deny the teen life-saving treatment. “We must save Anthony’s life,” family friend Mack Major, identified as Anthony’s mentor, told CBS Atlanta. “We don’t have a lot of time to do it, but it’s something that must be done.”


Civil rights organizations are beginning to take up Anthony’s cause, saying a child’s past shouldn’t have anything to do with the medical care they receive. “He’s been given a death sentence because of a broad and vague excuse of non-compliance,” a representative from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Christine Young Brown, said. “There was nothing specific in that decision. Just non-compliance.”


Read more at Think Progress.


Is Anthony being singled out because he’s been marked a “troubled youth”?

Do medical practitioners and institutions have the right to determine whether a patient exhibits a certain kind of “character” before giving potentially life-saving treatment?

Sound off below!