According to Think Progress Fifteen-year-old Anthony Stokes has less than six months to live unless he receives an emergency heart transplant.

But his family has been told that Anthony doesn’t qualify for the transplant list because he has a “history of non-compliance” — partly due to his history of earning low grades and having some 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.

There can be many socioeconomic factors that may have contributed to Anthony's choices in life thus far - but to say that someone is not worthy of medical care due to a history of "non-compliance" reeks to high heavens and above. Non-compliance in a medical sense means that Anthony may not have followed through with his per-treatment appointments, thus rendering him ineligible to be placed on the donor list.

This is a difficult subject to discuss and even if Anthony is placed on the list it may already be to late to save his life. I will not condemn the Doctors at the hospital until more facts are known but I will reiterate that I do not believe care should be determined based on socioeconomic factors, race, or age.

Organs are extremely rare and hard to come by and often times a heart transplant will take years to find the correct match.

This is one of the many reasons why we can no longer tie for profit health care into a system that is supposed to save peoples lives. Healthcare should not be for the rich, or the few. It should be for everyone. If Anthony did indeed miss or come late to his pre-care treatments then the only thing he is guilty of is being a teenager. Not everyone is the pinnacle of maturity and experience by 15.

Healthcare at this point needs to be a right. Not an arbitrary decision] That does not make him unworthy of living or having the chance at medical care.

Regardless of Anthony’s specific past, his story fits into a larger pattern of racially-motivated skepticism about young black men. The routine criminalization of black youth — thanks in large part to the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline,” which funnels a disproportionate number of black teens into the justice system for minor infractions — ensures that teens like Anthony are often seen as threats. And once society labels those kids as criminal, suspect, or “non-compliant,” their lives are typically considered to have less value.
Remember all the hyperventilating screaming over non-existent death panels by the tea party? Well this is the reality of the situation.  This is the American system of health care run by immoral insurance companies which places profit over people.

The solution is Medicare For All

Hat Tip to James321 for the link who has an important diary on the RecIn America, $0.24 is worth more then a dying mans life List titled

7:27 PM PT: I would add that you can view the hospitals letter here:


Stokes was noted by the hospital to have regularly missed or delayed pre-care medications, refusing to take pills or otherwise not following the schedule. Because he cannot follow the schedule before the transplant, the hospital ruled that he is too much of a risk to give a donor heart. He cannot be trusted, based on past behavior, to responsibly take his medicine and care for the heart. Hearts in particular are extremely hard to get and require years on a waitlist.
I would still argue that every citizen is worthy of being on a donor list. Considering that often times behavioral problems are often linked directly to medical problems. Anthony might not have made the best choices and might not have fully comprehended at 15 the implications of those choices. As of now he is paying for his life for those choices.

8:20 PM PT: I have edited this diary to reflect changing circumstances as more information is being made available.

8:54 PM PT: On a personal note I would ask that everyone please remember to check their donor box on the back of their license.

Your Email has been sent.