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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:

http://news.rapgenius.com/...


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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow. The Lady That Lives Behind Me (15+ / 0-)

    well her daughter just had a lung transplant. She has Cystic Fibrosis. Years ago I dated her mother for awhile and her kids have spent a lot of time in my house. About the only other hippie liberal in my small rural town. We get along well. I say that as a positive cause your story is so sad. They "hooked" her up.

    •  I am glad (8+ / 0-)

      when anyone who needs an organ transplant manages to get one. It is very hard to do in America. I checked the box on the back of my license and registered as both a organ donor and registered to make myself eligible for bone marrow transplants should I be a match in the data base.

      I would recommend if you have the financial means to sign yourself up as a bone marrow donor  to do so.

      “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

      by Tool on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:00:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I Checked The Box On My License (7+ / 0-)

        but not a bone marrow donor. Will have to look into that. You know you think you know, but then a person you know and see almost daily needs an organ it becomes really real really fast. Heck a kid and it is even more heartbreaking IMHO.

        I recall talking to her mom just a few weeks ago. She had been accepted at Barnes Hospital (in St. Louis). I think you could argue one of the best hospitals in the world. She rented an apartment, the hospital has them, so she can stay almost on site with her as she recovers the next month or so.

        Her other daughter, who is younger, has the body of like an Olympic volleyball player. Her sister that has Cystic Fibrosis, not so much. That disease just took a toll on her.

        •  Exactly! Do we have to add to the red dot on our (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tool, webranding, tuesdayschilde

          driver's license that we do not want income, school grades, sexual identification, FICO score, etc., to be a consideration in determining who get our organ donations!

          Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

          by Einsteinia on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:19:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Just Don't Know (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tool, Einsteinia

            I don't know what to say when I read shit like this. Amy, that is the lady I have talked about here, told me a few weeks ago that her daughter was down to 15% lung function. She told me this as a matter of fact, with almost no emotion, cause she knew this day was coming.

            It was crunch time. If her lung functionality went lower she'd be on a ventilator. And if they got to that, well she would never get off if it and eventually die.

            I almost want to share the Facebook page they set-up, but alas don't want to "out" her. It is awe inspiring stuff.

        •  You don't actually donate the bone marrow until (9+ / 0-)

          they confirm you as a match, registration is a simple cheek swab.  And don't believe what you see on TV.  If you are a match most of the time you take an injection for 5 days and then it is basically the same as donating platelets only you are hooked up to the machine for a much longer time.  The rest of the time (should the surgical harvest be required) you are either knocked out or given a nerve block so you can't feel anything below your belly button.  (and of course, they are pretty generous with the pain meds though most people don't need anything more than Advil 800 after the first couple of days)  Oh, and they cover all travel expenses including a couple of nights in a basic hotel and food.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:27:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Plus make sure your family (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tool

          knows your wishes; we found out way too late that my father-in-law wanted to be an organ donor. (Not sure anything was really left but the box he came in, but maybe something would have been useful.) Discuss that with your next of kin/whoever would be making the final decisions if you were unable to communicate.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:36:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Signing up was free for me through DKMS which (4+ / 0-)

        I have already done.  Fortunately epidural anesthesia (yes, just like when delivering a baby though they turn it all the way up for surgery) has come a long way so they don't even have to knock you out any more and that's assuming they even go with the surgical method.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:13:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tool - was it an insurance company? (9+ / 0-)

        or a transplant board at the hospital? From what's available this doesn't seem like an insurance company decision. Insurance companies don't allocate organs for transplantation.

        The update provides useful additional context. Anthony was going to move to the front of the line because his case was urgent, but he needed to be extra vigilant in the pre-op regimine. They hold adults to the same standard. Anyone who isn't a model patient does not receive a new organ. Unfortunately thousands of people will die this year waiting for a new heart because the rules surrounding donating organs (not allocating) are profoundly stupid.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:49:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The most important thing with transplant organs (7+ / 0-)

          is not to waste them.

          There are not enough transplant hearts.  If Anthony Stokes gets a heart some other person will die without one.

          That is the cold logic at the heart of organ allocation.

          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.
          And there you go.

          It really does not matter why Stokes acted the way he did.  What matters is that he did act this way and there is no reason to believe he would act differently after a transplant.  That means that there is a good chance that he would reject the heart or have other problems and die anyway.

          Given that, it would be tantamount to murder to give him the heart instead of a recipient who would be more likely to take his pills, etc.

          That's not discrimination based on age or race but on who is likely to survive when some must die.

          Regardless of Anthony’s specific past, his story fits into a larger pattern of racially-motivated skepticism about young black men.
          Since a donor organ is more likely to be a good match to a recipient who is genetically closer, any heart that Stokes would have gotten is quite likely to go to another black recipient.
  •  Not really (21+ / 0-)
    The solution is Medicare For All
    How would that solve the rather dire shortage of organ donors?
    •  It would not solve the problem (11+ / 0-)

      completely in terms of lack of organ donors. However by allowing easy access to doctors, hospitals, regular check ups, this tragic situation may have been discovered at an earlier time. All citizens should have access to health insurance coverage as prevention tends to be the best remedy instead of constantly placing a band aid on a gaping wound.

      Can we agree that the for-profit insurance companies and apparently the DR's where Anthony has gotten treatment has decided he is unworthy to be saved?

      Can we agree as Progressives that Single Payer is the optimal solution for this country? Considering we have the highest medical costs in the industrialized world and spend the most per-capita on health care yet garner worse results then other industrialized nations - can we agree that Single Payer is our ultimate objective?

      Anthony's DR's may have decided that his parents health insurance was not good enough or any number of socioeconomic factors, but saying that because of a history of "non compliance" one is not even worthy of being put on the donors list is horrible.

      This case is a bit personal for me considering my uncle passed away at 4 am in a hospital bed due to heart failure and his machine failed to go off. He had drinking problems and did a poor job of attempting to quit when he died. We were not legally allowed to even question the circumstances of his death due to the machine failing because he had a "history of non-compliance". Yes he made bad choices in his life and was in his mid-60s.

      But Anthony? He is 15.

      “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

      by Tool on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 05:54:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because'Non-compliance' is often an economic issue (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mortifyd, DFWmom, ladybug53

      Medicare for all matters, because under our current system 'noncompliance' has less to do with the willingness to care for themselves of the patient than it does the ability to access followup care, medication, etc.  If you've ever been poor, or even near-poor, then you know what it means to wonder if you're 10 dollars (now 25 dollars) sick - if you can't afford a co-pay or percentage of that doctor's bill, or maintenance medications, how good of a job are you going to do at 'complying' with medical recommendations?

      That's the real tragedy of situations like this for millions of Americans - that they end up this sick because they can't access care on a timely basis, and then are punished for their poverty yet again via being deemed 'unfit' for transplants.

      •  If you can't afford the co-pay (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, ladybug53

        The question the doctors are asking, is...

        If you can't afford the co-pay now, to take your pre-transplant medications, what is changing, that you will be able to afford the co-pay afterwards, to take the post-transplant medications?

        This is a social issue.   Putting the child on a transplant list will not solve the problem, nor save his life, if the child does not receive the required medications.    What the doctors are pointing out is that it is a problem that must be resolved, before the transplant can be approved.  

        Otherwise, the child will die.  And, another person who would have come to his appointments, and taken his medications had he received the organ transplant, will also die, because an organ was not available.

        It is not fair.  It is not the child's fault.   Maybe it's not the parents fault.   But, the doctors are correct to say that this must be sorted out before the transplant occurs.   Otherwise, there is no point in doing a transplant.  Because, the transplant will fail.

  •  Remember (23+ / 0-)

    If this kid gets a heart transplant, someone else who needs it just as much does not get one. That person also has a name, address, family, personal likes/dislikes/foibles, etc.

    The question isn't "does this kid deserve a heart transplant". The answer is 100% yes.

    The question is "is this kid more deserving of a heart transplant than the next person in line to get one?"

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 05:59:17 PM PDT

  •  I saw the headline (5+ / 0-)

    on yahoo news earlier today.
    I couldn't bring myself to read the story though  :(

  •  yet cheney got one GRRRRRRRR (13+ / 0-)

    a boy who could have had a long life ahead of him with subsequent growing up/  maturing that all teens (teens are inherently non compliant)  face/ go through

    yet an elderly man who no person can logically conclude will evolve/ change/ mature/ grow up from being the  slime ...greedy SOB........ destroyer of lives etc gets a heart

    •  DEM - Cheney wore a LVAD for several years (6+ / 0-)

      Cheney wore an "artificial" heart for several years while he was on the transplant list. This is common. My guess is that Cheney was a model patient.  I have lots of problems on the donation side of the transplant process, but from everything I have seen the allocation part works in a non-biased fashion focused largely on compliance. You must be a model patient while on the waiting list to have a chance to receive an organ.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:05:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  of course he was a model patient - adult and rich (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DEMonrat ankle biter, ladybug53

        so he could always afford his meds, always get to his appointments, always do precisely what was needed without worry of cost in time or money.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 04:17:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can also be on more than one list (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DEMonrat ankle biter, ladybug53

          if you have the resources to travel to the translant location within a certain time limit. So people who can afford to hire a private jet have an advantage. That's how Steve Jobs received his transplant. He was on the bay area list and as I recall a list in the southeast, which is where the transplant surgery was completed.

          As someone noted in the thread the rich can actually go to several countries, primarily in Asia, and buy an organ and we are all surprised Cheney didn't take that path.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:34:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  u forgot white and full FED covered insurance (0+ / 0-)

          from retirement plan for a former vp

          add to that some of the best doctors

  •  OH FUCK ME. Guess I was just lucky to be (10+ / 0-)

    healthy as a teenager because I was a total fuck up in every other way.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:10:21 PM PDT

  •  This is the most disgusting (5+ / 0-)

    Diary I've ever seen on Kos.  The idea that this young man can be denied a heart transplant because of his school grades and/or a couple of run-ins with the police sickens me and this needs more media attention.  This is the Tea Party and the Republicon death squad in action.  

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn.

    by Rosalie907 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:17:30 PM PDT

  •  One of the biggest wounds (6+ / 0-)

    I personally carry, is that of being made to feel "less-than" because my grades weren't exceptional. In fact, I had learning disabilities. I was trying to cope with a dysfunctional home-life. And I can still clearly remember teachers scolding me for "not trying," as if I deserved, not understanding and compassion and support, but punishment.

    To be denied medical care because one's grades are sub-standard? I almost can't imagine it. Or, sadly, I can.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:24:37 PM PDT

  •   How did they found out ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tool, Cassandra Waites
    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.
    In light of recent NSA disclosures with out new total surveillance society , one has to ask how they found out about a young teen's JUVENILE record and his grades.

    Did he just tell them that "No he wouldn't be q good candidate" Where in the fuck did they collect the info. My Guess is Choiceplus bought by the Parent of Lexis Nexis who feeds incorrect data to the NSA.

    Not being overly paranoid. But how did they find out?

    “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

    by Dburn on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:29:03 PM PDT

    •  "non-compliance" usually refers to failure to (18+ / 0-)

      follow medical treatments.  

      the hospital would know if that were the case, and would check in advance of a transplant because of the importance of making sure that  a rare heart is used for a successful transplant.

      •  this paragraph leads me to believe there is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tool, Norm in Chicago

        truly a problem with this decision:

        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.”
        The SCLC and other civil rights organizations have very full plates. They have to be discerning about the cases they take on. If they have reviewed this and think it's fishy and are willing to take it on, I'd be inclined to think it's fishy.

        I don't know much about these rulings and how they normally get reported out, but from the SCLC quote, I'm gathering that they usually give more specifics than just a vague "non-compliance" stamp. I'd think that if they are going to deny someone a life-saving medical intervention that they'd have to justify that denial with a little more detail. Otherwise, it's too easy for the system to be abused.

        Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

        by UnaSpenser on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:06:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please rec this diary and make it viral (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Tool

    We may still make a difference if we raise enough noise.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:32:16 PM PDT

  •  And then you have the (5+ / 0-)

    heavy partiers in the music/entertainment industry who can get repeat organs, or a war criminal like Dick Cheney can get a heart, but a kid -- a kid who still hasn't figured out what life is about -- should be left to die.

    Greatest medical care in the world. Fuckers.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:33:09 PM PDT

  •  Pure Ignorance on the diarist's part. (36+ / 0-)

    The world of transplant medicine is a different animal from treatment medicine. The former are always working from a demand > supply mentality. This breeds a need for discriminators on the margin, because providers are measured and evaluated on success rates.

    Every transplant patient goes thru a 'transplant evaluation' where multiple medical tests are done, infectious disease history is studied, psychological queries are made, and so on. But the worst statement one can make along the way is "I'm not a good pill taker", because after a transplant, you will be taking (very expensive) anti-rejection drugs for the rest of your life on a rigid schedule, particularly in the first few months after.

    Every candidate goes before a hospital board to review the findings of this evaluation. If you don't get the votes, you aren't listed. Simple. Fair? Yes, in my experience.

    So play your race cards or your ethnicity cards But it's simply BS. And if you think it will be any different under Medicare for All or Single Payer, I've got a kidney to sell you.

    •  This is pretty much what I thought, too (11+ / 0-)

      The diary title, taken literally, has to be false. I distrust everything said after the title. These sensationalized diary titles have to stop. Every time I see "reality-based community" here, I laugh.

      Sorry, Tool. You're one of the good guys, but not this time.

    •  I think you are probably right (27+ / 0-)

      My daughter has a complex heart birth defect for which she's had numerous surgeries and eventually may need a transplant. One of the things that her cardiologists have stressed to her over the years is keeping with her medication regimen (beta blockers, ACE inihibitors, warfarin) in order to build a high-quality "record of compliance" with a difficult, complicated medical regimen.

      That way, if she ever hits the transplant list, she'll have a documented record of compliance. As complex as it is now, the regimen after a transplant is way, way more complicated and demanding than what she's experiencing. Missing one dose or being off by hours can create a major health crisis.

    •  It is not ignorance on my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Belle Ame

      part. I understand the process completely of what being on a donor list entails, what it takes to get on the list, and the follow ups you will be required to do.  

      We do not know fully what the Hospital used to make their determination but "bad grades" or run ins with the law should play no factor in determining an individuals worthiness to be considered for a transplant.

      I do not believe Anthony should be denied the chance to be on the list. Even if he is on the list there is no guarantee that he will get a heart in time to save his life.  I hope they reconsider and put him on the list.

      My point with Single-Payer or simply put Medicare for all is that in the United States we pay more per capita then any other industrialized country in the world yet somehow deliver less then adequate care then other industrialized countries.

      All citizens should have easy access to their doctors and the medical care that they need. It would bring down costs and stop hospitals from determining which patients to treat based on socioeconomic, race, risk, and insurance coverage.

      It would be different under Medicare for All due to having easy access to preventative care instead of treating the problems that arise from lack of care. It will not increase the pool of donors, but it sure as hell might increase the amount of time a sick person has to be on the list instead of waiting till you have less then 6 months to live like Anthony.

      “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

      by Tool on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:04:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  plus, if the SCLC thinks there's a case because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tool

        the determination didn't have enough detail, I'm inclined to think there is an abuse going on. They have a very full plate and would have to be discerning about the battles they choose. They can't afford to pick a weak case.

        So, what I want to know is this: when they make the determination to they usually give such a vague justification? Seems to me that the system can be easily abused if the board who makes the decisions doesn't have to reveal more evidence about what led to their determination.

        How hard would it have been for them to say, "he self-assessed as a bad pill-taker."? or "in the past he has not complied with doctor's orders."?

        Instead the only information they share with the family is that his grades and juvenile infractions are influencing this decision? That sounds pretty bogus.

        Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

        by UnaSpenser on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:11:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's not what the hospital said. (7+ / 0-)
          Instead the only information they share with the family is that his grades and juvenile infractions are influencing this decision?
          that's just speculation by a family friend.
          •  yes, but that's my point. the family has, (0+ / 0-)

            presumably given some information to the SCLC which gives them reason to believe something is wrong. The SCLC wouldn't just speak out on a case with no information to support their accusations.

            They also say that all there is is a vague "non-compliance" ruling with no justification. I'm gathering that that's not usual.

            If the SCLC drops it and issues a statement that they have more information which leads them to drop their challenge, then I'll feel it's settled.

            Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

            by UnaSpenser on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:19:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345
          the determination didn't have enough detail, I'm inclined to think there is an abuse going on. They have a very full plate and would have to be discerning about the battles they choose. They can't afford to pick a weak case.
          Major national organizations have made bigger mistakes than this one before now, and likely will again.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 09:47:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  First off, I personally find the reasons stated (0+ / 0-)

          (via hearsay) just this side of specious.

          If one considers that juvenile school records, disciplinary records (non-judicial), and medical records are all protected by privacy laws, the only way for this person to get all of the data out would be for his custodians to release it all to the public. At that point it would still be only semi-transparent, because transplant boards are not about to release their deliberations. They have to be non-responsive to outside querys, often as a matter of law.

          I can give some whatifs:
          1. What if he smoked (anything)? Generally that means one has to pass a 100% negative random urine test for three straight months, and periodically thereafter during the waiting period. Failure to do so is "noncompliance".
          2. What if he had a slight AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm). Say 3cm. 5cm is the general limit, so a followup might be required. Admittedly unlikely in a teenager, but it speaks to the level of detail.
          3. What if tests showed prior exposure to hepatitis?  You can't hide that, but may not want it to be public knowledge.

          Not to mention that availability can be very blood-type dependent.

          Equality of outcomes in the transplant world is not in the cards available to be dealt today, even if equality of opportunity were all that we might wish.

      •  a "family friend" said "someone" told them (5+ / 0-)

        it was about grades.  that's pretty flimsy shit.

    •  Much as I sympathize with the case (24+ / 0-)

      if it is as stated, valion speaks the truth of what is done and how decisions are made. Young people are prioritized over older people, too; that's part of the decision process. A teen will almost always receive an organ over an older person in equal need. There may be something to this that we don't and currently can't know. I don't know.

      What I do know is that I have been through the transplant evaluation process. It is really extensive and goes into great detail about your life. What medications do you take. Have you ever used drugs, legal or illegal. If so, when, and when was the last time. What's your sex life like. How many partners have you had. How many partners do you have now (they want you to be monogamous or celibate). How's your support network: describe it in detail. What's your home like. What kind of insurance(s) do you have and will they cover transplantation, and if so, for how much (and they find all this out before you go through evaluation). What other physicians have you seen over the past ten years or so (and they will get a detailed history from the other physicians). Who referred you to the transplant program - they read up on this and talk to the physician at length about you. How's your psychological profile. What are your feelings and expectations in getting a transplant. Have you had transplant education. How is your health in general: is it good enough to ensure that you'll survive surgery and the transplant is likely to last. On and on and on. And yes, part of the reason they want your detailed information from the rest of your physicians is to find out if you are currently compliant with medication. They want to know if you will maintain compliance with treatment. Organs are scarce resources. Most of the people on the transplant list are waiting for a kidney. A good many of them will die before they get an organ. It's not pleasant to think about, but it is what it is, and you know it going into it.

      Too many organs have rejected because patients aren't compliant. Those organs can't just be put into somebody else who's compliant. Once they've been transplanted once, they can't be used again.

      And transplant programs can afford to be choosy. There are too many people out there who need organs. The program that transplanted a kidney into me has deliberately withheld transplants from patients who were legally using medical marijuana prescribed for them by their physicians. It is why I am scared spitless to go on medical marijuana for pain, even though I have my transplant; the chances that I'll need another one in my life are too high. Kidneys, unlike hearts, lungs, livers, etc., don't last a lifetime, unless you choose not to go back on dialysis and die when it fails.

      One way to alleviate the scarce resources problem is for everyone to sign their organ donor cards and talk with their families to make sure they know the person's wish to donate. Another is for every reasonably healthy person here who has two working kidneys to make plans to donate one of them as a living donor, and if you don't know someone who needs one, do it altruistically. Progressives who put their bodies where their values are could eliminate the waiting list for kidneys. Hearts, lungs, eyes, livers, etc. would still be scarce but maybe less scarce if more people would sign their donor cards and evangelize signing them to everyone they know.

    •  This is absolutely totally true (9+ / 0-)

      There are just too few organs, far far fewer than there are potential recipients.

      Getting a heart transplant is a BFD. It is not fun, it is not nice, and it is all for naught if you miss your medications. There is a reason they do this and those of you upset - if you were making the decisions you'd do the same.

      The new technologies that involve things like bio 3-D printing are breathtaking in their possibility. When that happens, it will be only a matter of money.

      Meanwhile, sign your organ donor card, and encourage your friends to do so.

      For compliant patients, the life expectancy after a heart transplant is gratifyingly long.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:59:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmm...other sources offer additional info. (15+ / 0-)

    Opposing Views opens its article with:

    An Atlanta teen with an enlarged heart is not being placed on the transplant list because he has had behavior issues in the past. Anthony Stokes, 15, has only six months to live but, because he failed to take his medication in the past, doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have stuck him with a “noncompliance” tag.

    Anthony's family says that his low grades at school and brushes with the law are the real reasons that Children's Healthcare will not put him on the heart transplant list.

    Techville has this to say:
    In Atlanta, a mother claims that her son is condemned to a “death sentence” because doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta refuse to place her son on the heart transplant list.

    Anthony Stokes, 15, only has six months to live due to an enlarged heart discovered last month at the children’s hospital.

    Because of the urgency, Stokes needs the transplant immediately. However, the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta claims that Anthony has not taken any of his prescribed medications. This  automatically rules  him out from being put on the transplant list.

    Despite the hospital’s claims, civil rights groups and Stokes’ family suggest that Anthony’s “brushes with the law and low grades at school” are the reasons that he is being denied a heart, ultimately sending the dying boy home with no means of survival.

    If these reports are accurate, I'd suggest that the picture changes dramatically.

    It should be noted that, due to HIPAA restrictions, the hospital cannot defend itself against these accusations with anything specific to this young man's case.

    Now, I don't think that anyone here would argue that failure to complete your medication regimen should render a prospective transplant recipient non-compliant; every transplant requires a lengthy and intricate regimen of post-op medication.

    If this is a "they said/we say" situation, I'm not going to jump on the "racism" bandwagon unless/until the family signs a HIPAA release and allows the hospital to speak openly about their decision.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:01:01 PM PDT

  •  There are not enough organ donors. (9+ / 0-)

    There are simply not enough organs available for those who need them. I would think, one of the most difficult tasks in medicine, is to sit on the board of those who make the decision as to who gets what.

    How do they decide? If they use any other criteria than strictly medical, some sort of "choose your own adventure" type flowchart going in all directions to tease out the greatest chance of success, then they are determining the value of one human's life against another based on what? How could they possibly justify making that choice?

    I've worked with a chaplain who was an adviser to such a board. It was her task to try to ensure that NO value judgments concerning the worth of a life was made, that those ethical minefields were navigated, and that decisions made were strictly clinical. She could not assure me that this always happened, but she did assure me that when it did not, there were appeals possible and transparency with the hospital ethics board was absolute.

    Every need for an organ has the potential to be a tragedy or a miracle. If the procedure in this young man's case was improperly done, biased for reasons other than clinical success, or if he was simply written off without due consideration, then I very much hope this is reversed and the transplant board at this facility professionally censured. If transparency demonstrates that it was properly done...I have nothing to offer but my sadness.

    And please...be an organ donor if you can.

    I have taken a full year of Law and Government Class and have determined that government and politics are my left ass cheek.-my 18 year old daughter

    by left rev on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:03:32 PM PDT

  •  So is this one of those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tool

    "death panels" that I keep hearing about?

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:05:45 PM PDT

    •  Yup... most definitely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345

      There are fewer organs available than patients that need them.  Some will die waiting.  Hospitals must choose which ones will live and which will die based on medical criteria, including which patients will take their meds so the organs are not wasted.

  •  The hospital's letter can be found ... (27+ / 0-)

    here.

    If you click on the phrase, "due to a history of non-compliance," the following explanation pops up:

    “Non-compliance” is a medical term, here stemming directly from commonly accepted organ transplant procedures.

    Everyone has a different genetic makeup — it’s what makes us all different. When you get an organ transplant, the new body part may not be a perfect match for you, causing a number of lifelong symptoms and pains. The only solution is to adapt to taking a series of pills multiple times per day, every single day, for life.

    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. [My emphasis]

    Stokes' parents have suggested that their son’s past bad behavior played a factor, but this is standard procedure. Competition and care for heart transplants is so severe that, by disregarding medicine instructions, anyone can and will have their waitlist spot removed.

    I'm sorry, but with the shortage of donor hearts, I don't think this is an unreasonable decision.
        •  I have added it to the diary (0+ / 0-)

          as it is important. If accurate it still does not change my opinion that all people should be worthy to be on a donor list as bad behavior is often tied directly to medical problems.

          “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

          by Tool on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:29:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Bad behavior" is completely separate ... (17+ / 0-)

            from medical compliance. That's not what is being evaluated here.

            You could have an A+ student named Mr. Popularity and winning scholarships to Harvard, but if he refuses for whatever reason to disobey medical directives, he's going to be considered "non-compliant" and will be passed over.

          •  Aw geeze, Tool. Think about what you're saying (11+ / 0-)

            You have one heart and two or twenty kids who could use it. What are YOU going to decide? Which kid gets the only heart that's a match? How do YOU decide?

            •  It is an (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tapestry

              extraordinarily difficult subject and I am considering deleting the diary because this story is still developing and I do not yet know all the facts.

               I don't make those type of decisions in life and am thankful I do not have to. For me it would come down to who has the best chance at not rejecting the organ.

              It is like being between a rock and a hard place. Realistically it may already be to late for Anthony to live. Even if he is placed on the list the chances of him getting a heart are slim to none.

              I do not think socioeconomic factors, grades, or run ins with the law should play a role in the determination of who gets an organ. Anthony's worst and most likely fatal circumstance was being a teenager and not taking seriously until to late the gravity of his situation. He most likely severely regrets "if he actually did" blowing off/delaying/coming late to his pre-treatment appointments.

              “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

              by Tool on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:00:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do a big update and use it as a call (9+ / 0-)

                for everyone to sign their donor cards. I don't think you necessarily need to delete it, just a big update and title change.

                Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

                by Mike S on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:05:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Signing the donor card doesn't cut it (0+ / 0-)

                  If people want to be sure that their organs will be available for transplant in the event of their deaths, they need to talk to their families about it.  That donor card thing doesn't really matter so much.  Talk to your loved ones and let them know what you want so they will be able to communicate that to the transplant coordinator.

                  "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

                  by Triscula on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 10:47:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  And put the update at the top (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical, RainyDay

                before the old content.

                Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

                by Mike S on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 08:08:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Don't delete! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                denise b

                Just because the flaws in your thinking are being discussed doesn't mean that the conversation isn't valuable. Some of us reason from emotion, some use other criteria. Please don't delete. We need to talk about this issue.

                Next time you write a diary, don't use a sensational-for-sensations sake string of words.

              •  Are you sure? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                johnny wurster, erush1345
                I do not think socioeconomic factors, grades, or run ins with the law should play a role in the determination of who gets an organ.
                While I agree that socioeconomic factors shouldn't be a consideration, poor school performance combined with a criminal history suggest a general pattern of behavior that could be consistent with other non-compliant behaviors.  Imagine that you're the person that has to make the decision.  You've got a list of people with a variety of different histories and you have to give the organ to the person most likely to benefit from the procedure.  Do you give it to someone with a history of refusal to follow directions or do you give it to someone with a history of compliance?  Keep in mind that consistent adherence to a drug and medical visit regime is essential for success.

                "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

                by Triscula on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 10:42:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  People who don't take their meds have a very low (3+ / 0-)

                chance of not rejecting the organ.

                For me it would come down to who has the best chance at not rejecting the organ.
                Anthony's worst and most likely fatal circumstance was being a teenager and not taking seriously until to late the gravity of his situation. He most likely severely regrets "if he actually did" blowing off/delaying/coming late to his pre-treatment appointments.
                Yeah... but there are other people who need transplants who were compliant.  Are you going to condemn one of them to death by giving the heart to Stokes given that he has not demonstrated that he will follow the treatment regimen that he must follow to survive?
              •  BTW, if you really want to think about tough (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                johnny wurster

                questions, say that one of the people on the transplant list has Down's Syndrome or other profound mental retardation but has the necessary support, care givers, etc. to make sure s/he takes his/her medications.

                Should that person be placed on the list?  Should quality of intellectual life be a factor in deciding who lives and who dies when someone has to die?

                What about family status?  Should someone who is financially supporting his/her family take precedence over a single person?  

                What about criminals?  

                I do not think socioeconomic factors, grades, or run ins with the law should play a role in the determination of who gets an organ.
                If Ariel Castro, the guy who kidnapped those three women in Cleveland, needs a heart should he go on the list?  Does it matter if he is still in prison?

                These are not simple ethical questions.

          •  you aren't getting it (12+ / 0-)

            this isn't whether or not all people deserve to be on a donor list.

            If we one day could simply grow organs or replicate them somehow, we'd give them to whomever needed them regardless of issues.

            But we can't, and we have more people who need them than people who are donating them.

            So we have to pick and choose. So in that environment, by definition, "all people are not worthy" to be on a donor list EQUALLY.

            Some folks won't make the cut.  We can debate HOW we determine that.  Maybe we value by age, the younger go first.  Maybe we value by utility to society (don't think most would agree with that!).  Or maybe we value by whom we think are most likely to follow their drug regimen and survive for a decent amount of time.

            we've chosen the latter, and it's arguably the best way to go, and if there is evidence that a potential patient won't follow the regimen that's a non-racial, non-socioeconomic reason to exclude them.

            If we aren't going to exclude for that reason, they how DO we cut down the numbers? Criminals? Well, "bad behavior is often tied directly to medical problems" someone said.  What's the discriminator?

            Everybody gets an organ isn't a realistic answer.

          •  So you have one heart available NOW (9+ / 0-)

            One hundred people need it. You have to make a decision NOW on who gets the one precious heart.

            Do you give it to someone with a proven track record of following medical orders or one who doesn't?

            C'mon. The heart's only available for a very short period. Does the non-compliant kid get it? The young woman four cities away who's in massive heart failure and never missed a dose of her medicine? Or one of the 97 others who've followed doctor's directions and wound up on death's door anyway?

            Which person is the best bet to make use of the one precious heart?

            •  100 people aren't going to be a good genetic match (0+ / 0-)

              for starters.  Non compliance can mean a lot of things.  it can mean not having bus fare, it can mean not having a co pay it can mean not having the money for a script - it can mean a lot of things we don't actually know.

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 04:23:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. That answers my question. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  A name just came to mind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tool

    A very early.take no prisoners advocate for health care reform who practiced at Grady Hospital in Atlanta for many years. Now head of American cancer Society.

    Otis Brawley,MD

    Can't do a link I'm. On my tablet but you can google him.

    "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 07:25:25 PM PDT

  •  If he wasn't taking his medications, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tool, Cassandra Waites

    then a case worker should have been involved. This is life and death. He is only 15..a child. It shouldn't be his decision whether or not to take his medications. Hope he can get the transplant and the support he needs.

  •  I hate reading diaries about transplant lists (12+ / 0-)

    because the reality is that we simply don't have enough donor organs to go around, and every single list is going to have 'winners' and 'losers'.  They need to keep pouring money into the technology to build new organs from people's own cells, both to end the need for external donors, and the need for anti-rejection drugs.

  •  I think this does amount to unnecessary roughness. (0+ / 0-)

    If it takes years to get an organ, and this kid's only got 6 months, then what's the harm in putting him on the list?
    He's got almost zero chance of them finding a compatible organ before his time is up anyhow.  Why make his family feel extra bad about what kind of person he is?  And why risk getting negative publicity for the hospital by rejecting a minor child?  Put his name on the list, and when he dies, take it off again.  Not everyone can be saved (actually, technically all of us are going to die anyway) but there's no reason to make the surviving family members feel extra bad about their kid being rejected.

  •  Still more info - the decision becomes clear. (7+ / 0-)

    I'll emphasis what seem the key details:

    MyFoxAtlanta reports, in part:

    "He didn't have any medical history. He wouldn't, you know, make his doctor's appointments," said [Stokes' mother] Hamilton.

    Hamilton says her son has only been to clinics for check-ups and immunization shots because, until now, he's never been sick. She believes money played a role in the hospital's decision.

    "I think that they don't think that we can pay for the medicine. We probably couldn't get to the doctor visits because of transportation. I don't have a car," said Hamilton.

    Hamilton also believes Anthony's juvenile record played a role in the hospital's decision. She says he was under a court-ordered house arrest.

    So, two key points:

    1) Failure to meet pre-transplant appointments is a HUGE problem.  The mother doesn't even seem to know with any certainty why they missed the appointments.

    2) There's a pretty big difference between "run-ins with law enforcement," as was reported in the Think Progress article cited by the diarist, and court-ordered house arrest.

    The question of adding a patient to the transplant waiting list is a heavy-duty piece of risk assessment, due to the size of the list, the requirement to prioritize the list, and the chronic shortage of donor organs.  Physicians/hospitals are required to evaluate both pre-transplant risk behaviors AND identify predictive factors for post-transplant compliance.  Yes, it's absolutely true that there is some hard-nosed actuarial work in the process, but that's how it must be done.

    If they missed multiple appointments with no effort to keep the hospital informed and/or reschedule them (or failed to complete appointments after rescheduling them),  I am completely unsurprised that the boy was dropped for non-compliance.  That would be the absolutely correct determination in such a situation.  

    The question of house arrest brings additional risk factors into the evaluation.  If he has already been convicted of offenses sufficient to warrant house arrest, that definitely has a negative effect on the statistical likelihood of post-operative compliance.

    Finally, these two factors indicate a low level of family/social support for the patient.  That has been identified in multiple risk assessment studies as a significant contributing factor toward post-operative non-compliance.

    As more information becomes public, it's beginning to appear that the hospital's decision, painful though it may be, is supported by the information provided by the boy's mother.  

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 10:02:15 PM PDT

  •  He's not Anglo Saxon or even Anglo Norman (0+ / 0-)

    Bet his mother is on welfare. Probably a druggie. Bet he already knocked up a white girl, How much of my hard-earned tax-dollars..?

    Sorry.

    I channel haters once in a while. It's not a pleasant experience. Not something for the feint of heart.

    What church was that that Obama frequented? The "God damn America" fiery orator with the pulpit? Jeremiah something or another..

  •  Non-compliance isn't trivial (5+ / 0-)

    There are a very limited number of available organs for transplant.  The process that determines eligibility for a transplant definitely does take non-compliance with medical care into account.  With so many people waiting for such a small number of organs, the priority is given to patients who are most likely to benefit from the procedure.  Compliance with treatment is essential to obtaining the best possible outcome.  Living with a transplanted organ requires years (maybe a lifetime) of drug treatment and follow-up care.  It may seem unfair, maybe it is unfair, but until we have a way to provide a healthy set of organs for everyone who needs a transplant, it's probably the most reasonable approach.

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

    by Triscula on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 10:30:40 PM PDT

  •  I'm in favor of single payor. My sister died (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    young because what I believe was a lack of preventable care.  However, please prove up this statement on this case because it makes absolutely no sense.

    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.
    Are they not going to transplant a heart for who is next on the list?  This isn't an insurance company decision. If it is prove it otherwise keep to facts instead of bullshit.

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 10:59:42 PM PDT

  •  In the culture of obedience, compliance is the (0+ / 0-)

    only rule.

    There has been an amendment.

    Do what you're told, or die.

    This rule is neither racist, sexist, ageist or nationalistic. Money is a surrogate because non-compliant persons get none.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 02:49:49 AM PDT

    •  What utter nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, jabney

      These are medical requirements.

      Without the transplant, he dies.  To get the transplant, he has to follow these instructions, complete these medical examinations so they can properly prioritize his case and get the best possible donor organ, take these medications to prepare his body for the transplant procedure, etc.  

      Do you REALLY that following a doctor's instructions to save your own life is just another subset of some "culture of obedience"?

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 02:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Among those needing heart transplants (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345

    it's the culture of survival.  Don't comply by taking the meds needed for a successful transplant and you lose.  That's the rule.

  •  This is very sad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hoosier Al, jabney
    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.
    The doctors are correct.   They are not going to appointments or taking medication.   Under those circumstances, the transplant will fail.  It's not a "maybe".  It's a fact.    

    That does not mean that it does not break a doctor's heart to see a fifteen year old child neglected by his parents to the point of death.    Stokes is a minor child.   The problem here is not Stokes, himself.  The problem is the parents.  

    Doctors can see, quite clearly, that unless this child acquires a guardian who will actually care whether he lives or dies, the child will die.  No medical procedure that they can offer will save him.    Doctors have long had to face the fact that they cannot solve all of our social problems on an operating table.   They must do the math, which does seem cold, and yet the facts don't lie.   As much as we wish things would just magically turn out, it is the factors of the equation that determine the outcome.  

    The first ingredient required to keep the child alive, is a guardian who cares enough to keep the child alive, and this problem has to be resolved in the societal context, not in the operating room, by the social support system for the child, not by the doctors.

    What is occurring now is the child's best hope.  Since the child was denied the transplant due to his social situation, more attention is being focused on his situation, and perhaps it can be solved, and he can regain his place on the list.  It is unfortunate that time is so short.  

    The risk remains, however.   Even if this miracle could occur, and the boy could be placed with a responsible guardian, and if the boy cooperated with a guardian (no guarantees - kids yanked from their families and dumped in fostering sometimes don't cooperate), he would have to learn to become very responsible in just a few short months, so that he is meticulous at the age of 18, to go to appointments and take his medication, without the help of his parents who have proven to be useless, and without foster guardianship which ends at age 18.     Or, if he gets very lucky, a guardian will willingly continue to influence his life, and try to keep him alive.  He is in a very risky situation, and the odds that he could survive are very low.   I hope that he gets that chance.

    I know it is tempting to blame the doctors for his situation, but I don't think it's their fault.   They provided the appointments, provided access to the medication, and looked into getting him on the transplant list.

    I blame his parents, and our society, and the lack of social supports that allows families to get in this situation, and offers no solutions.

    I do believe that the doctors want this child to live.  It's just that they know he won't, unless he gets more help than they are able to give him.

  •  Transplant organs should not be hard to come by. (0+ / 0-)

    We need to move into the 21st century and make organ harvesting a required procedure just as we require autopsies and other "post-life" procedures that disturb and alter the body.

    Then we would be able to take chances with problem recipients.

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