‘Heartbreaking’: Medical standoff leaves man with cerebral palsy stranded at hospital for weeks

Saturday, 22 April 2017, 01:34:46 AM. Does Alex Scott need a feeding tube? His family says he doesn’t, but that his Northern Virginia group home won’t take him back without one.
Alex Scott, 45, who has cerebral palsy, laughs at Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, Va., where he has been stranded for 23 days while his family and group home caregivers argue about the need for a feeding tube. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post) Alex Scott cannot speak. If he could, he might be able to answer a crucial question that has pit the people who speak for him against one another and left him stranded in a Northern Virginia hospital for three weeks. At issue: Does the 45-year-old with cerebral palsy need a feeding tube? Scott’s relatives say the group home where he has lived for two decades told them it would not take him back without a feeding tube. His family says the medical procedure is unnecessary and would benefit group home employees more than him. The struggle over the feeding tube, advocacy groups say, illustrates what can happen to people with disabilities when caregivers disagree about what is best for them. The family has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice and contacted the Office of Human Rights within Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. In the meantime, Scott remains at Inova Loudoun Hospital, with his sister, Samantha Tunador, cataloguing each day on social media with the hashtag #takeAlexhome. “Day 11,” Tunador wrote on Facebook on April 10. “I promise you Alex, we are doing everything we can to get you out of the hospital and back to your home.” “End of Day 12, and no confirmation that Alex...Read more
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