On February 16th, Dorothy Spourdalakis took her 14 year old son Alex - who suffers from autism and is nonverbal - to Gottlieb Hospital for severe gastrointestinal distress. There, Alex was placed in locked restraints to all four limbs. He remained restrained for there for 13 days while he suffered bouts of severe vomiting and diarrhea, naked save only a hospital sheet to cover him. On February 28th, Alex was transferred to to Loyola University Medical Center because they could provide the services that the hospital determined he needed - pediatric gastroenterology, neurology and anesthesiology. However, when the gastroenterologist saw Alex on March 5th he did not see the need to perform a physical exam. On March 12th, Dorothy had a care plan meeting at the hospital. She was told that the staff is “unable” to determine if Alex is having pain, and only psychiatric treatment has been ordered. Dorothy was told that if she does not agree fully to the terms, Alex would be removed and placed in the care of DCFS. Alex has now been in the hospital for almost a month (20+ days of which were spent in restraints). None of the many standardized assessment tools for nonverbal patients have been utilized .His pain has not yet been assessed or treated. He has not been medicated for pain. He is being denied medical care and accommodations for his disability of autism. TELL LOYOLA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER TO DO THE STANDARD GASTROINTESTINAL TESTING THAT WOULD BE DONE IF ALEX DID NOT HAVE AUTISM!!!!
- The Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring
- Vice President and CNE, Loyola University Medical Center
- Office for Civil Rights
Office for Civil Rights
- Chief Special Litigation Section- Civil Rights Division- Department of Justice
Jonathan M. Smith
Give Alex Spourdalakis the medical treatment he needs!
I urge you to reconsider your decision to provide Alex with only psychiatric care. He is in pain! Please order the proper gastrointestinal testing this boy needs. Please consider patients with autism to be deserving of the same care that any typical child would receive.
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