I came across this today and felt it worthy of discussion. A 15 year old who has evidently had poor school performance and some legal troubles is now dying of heart failure and his only hope is a transplant. The hospital that has evaluated him has refused to list him for transplant, citing "non-compliance."
This is a tricky situation- transplant is one of the few situations where things like this can work against someone. We wouldn't refuse to treat a teenager with cancer in the same situation, for example. On the flip side, with limited organs to allocate they have to go to people who will likely have better outcomes.
As a pediatric nurse, I have a bit of a hard time with refusing to list a teenager for transplant because of "non-compliance." What teenager ISN'T non-compliant with at least something in their life? Are only good students and kids who've never been in trouble worthy of saving?
At the same time, I do- of course- realize that we only have one side of the story and that the hospital cannot divulge details to the press because of privacy laws.
Aug 13, '13
Organ recipients don't receive their organs in a vacuum. If the 15 yr old gets a heart, someone else will not.
Maybe the question should be, not should he get the heart, but should the kid who does everything right be allowed to die.
I guess it depends on what side of the fence you're standing on.
As an aside, I don't like when families take their fight to the media. It's not fair. It's not fair to the thousands of people who wait patiently for the system to work. Who behave honorably. There can be no faith in the transplant selection process, if it's possible public opinion can influence the choice.
Last edit by imintrouble on Aug 13, '13