Disabled baby denied heart transplant

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#1 Posted by thegerg (14600 posts) -
#2 Edited by foxhound_fox (87332 posts) -

Obviously the system needs more objective control over who gets the transplants, rather than allowing a human to choose who best "deserves" it.

That, or find a way to gather more viable organs. Or make them.

#3 Posted by Nibroc420 (13567 posts) -

they said he didn't qualify for a new heart because he had a rare genetic defect that put him at a high risk for tumors and infections.

So the doctors wanted to save someone who had a higher risk of surviving the transplant, as opposed to giving this heart to a child so it could hang around for a year or two.
Tough call, but it sounds like the mother is just emotional (can't blame her).

She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival...

It's a sad world when transplant doctors doing triage are accused of discrimination, simply because they saved the ones who're more likely to survive long term.

#4 Edited by thegerg (14600 posts) -

@Nibroc420 said:

they said he didn't qualify for a new heart because he had a rare genetic defect that put him at a high risk for tumors and infections.

So the doctors wanted to save someone who had a higher risk of surviving the transplant, as opposed to giving this heart to a child so it could hang around for a year or two.

Tough call, but it sounds like the mother is just emotional (can't blame her).

She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival...

It's a sad world when transplant doctors doing triage are accused of discrimination, simply because they saved the ones who're more likely to survive long term.

"She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival..."

Well, they DID discriminate. That's pretty clear. The issue is that the mother seems to feel that such discrimination isn't justified.

#5 Edited by lamprey263 (22664 posts) -

Didn't read the whole thing, skimmed through parts of it, quite saddening. The problem to me seemed more to do with doctors making subjective decisions on who gets the transplants rather than having a more fair method of who receives the transplants.

It's a good thing the mother was determined to fight this like she did. I hope the Office for Civil Rights investigation leads to a phat lawsuit that causes hospitals that practice like this to reconsider their positions like this.

Good to know the child is still alive even after doctors said he'd be dead, maybe there's hope he'll get the transplant he needs in time.

#6 Posted by Aljosa23 (24542 posts) -

Meanwhile, war criminals like Dick Cheney can get whatever organs they want.

#7 Edited by Master_Live (13950 posts) -

Aside from Boston Children's Hospital kicking all other hospitals asses in this story the main questions is this: should doctors/hospital be able to discriminated against persons with disabilities when determining whether such a person should get a transplant?

#8 Posted by thegerg (14600 posts) -

Aside from Boston Children's Hospital kicking all other hospitals asses in this story the main questions is this: should doctors/hospital be able to discriminated against persons with disabilities when determining whether such a person should get a transplant?

"should doctors/hospital be able to discriminated against persons with disabilities when determining whether such a person should get a transplant?"

Yes. Why should a disabled person not have to deal with discrimination like the rest of us?

#9 Posted by Jimn_tonic (819 posts) -

they said he didn't qualify for a new heart because he had a rare genetic defect that put him at a high risk for tumors and infections.

It's a sad world when transplant doctors doing triage are accused of discrimination, simply because they saved the ones who're more likely to survive long term.

I know. How can a person accuse someone of something, when the accused actually did what they are accused of? what a world..

TOPIC: gotta go with the doctors on this one, but this is a story that makes me want to tell everyone i know to be a donor.

#10 Posted by Master_Live (13950 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@Master_Live said:

Aside from Boston Children's Hospital kicking all other hospitals asses in this story the main questions is this: should doctors/hospital be able to discriminated against persons with disabilities when determining whether such a person should get a transplant?

"should doctors/hospital be able to discriminated against persons with disabilities when determining whether such a person should get a transplant?"

Yes. Why should a disabled person not have to deal with discrimination like the rest of us?

I was just posing the real "problem" stated by the article since nobody will probably read it. And I agree with you.

Basically, people don't want to hear that a child with a prognosis of future mental or physical disabilities might get passed over for a child determined to be person with a normal development. Which of course doesn't excuses the doctor of lying (if they did). Just go ahead with the cold hard truth. If the doctors did lie (knowingly) then they deserve whatever they got coming to them.

#11 Edited by Nibroc420 (13567 posts) -
@thegerg said:

@Nibroc420 said:

they said he didn't qualify for a new heart because he had a rare genetic defect that put him at a high risk for tumors and infections.

So the doctors wanted to save someone who had a higher risk of surviving the transplant, as opposed to giving this heart to a child so it could hang around for a year or two.

Tough call, but it sounds like the mother is just emotional (can't blame her).

She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival...

It's a sad world when transplant doctors doing triage are accused of discrimination, simply because they saved the ones who're more likely to survive long term.

"She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival..."

Well, they DID discriminate. That's pretty clear. The issue is that the mother seems to feel that such discrimination isn't justified.

There was no prejudice...

discriminate

dɪˈskrɪmɪneɪt/

make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age.

They didn't say "Oh, it's a black baby", or "Oh, it's a baby", or "Oh, we dont save jewish babies".

They have a limited number of hearts. They can give this heart to

A.) A baby that would end up dying in less than 2 years due to genetic defects putting it at an extreme risk of getting an infection as a result of the transplant.

or

B.) A baby without a high risk of infection/death, as a result of the transplant.

This mother would like to see another child (who could live a healthy life with this transplant) die, so she can have another 1-2 years with her baby.

Doctors made the right choice.

#12 Posted by Nibroc420 (13567 posts) -
@thegerg said:

@Nibroc420 said:

they said he didn't qualify for a new heart because he had a rare genetic defect that put him at a high risk for tumors and infections.

So the doctors wanted to save someone who had a higher risk of surviving the transplant, as opposed to giving this heart to a child so it could hang around for a year or two.

Tough call, but it sounds like the mother is just emotional (can't blame her).

She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival...

It's a sad world when transplant doctors doing triage are accused of discrimination, simply because they saved the ones who're more likely to survive long term.

"She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival..."

Well, they DID discriminate. That's pretty clear. The issue is that the mother seems to feel that such discrimination isn't justified.

There was no prejudice...

discriminate

dɪˈskrɪmɪneɪt/

make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age.

They didn't say "Oh, it's a black baby", or "Oh, it's a baby", or "Oh, we dont save jewish babies".

They have a limited number of hearts. They can give this heart to

A.) A baby that would end up dying in less than 2 years due to genetic defects putting it at an extreme risk of getting an infection as a result of the transplant.

or

B.) A baby without a high risk of infection/death, as a result of the transplant.

This mother would like to see another child (who could live a healthy life with this transplant) die, so she can have another 1-2 years with her baby.

Doctors made the right choice.

#13 Edited by thegerg (14600 posts) -

@Nibroc420 said:
@thegerg said:

@Nibroc420 said:

they said he didn't qualify for a new heart because he had a rare genetic defect that put him at a high risk for tumors and infections.

So the doctors wanted to save someone who had a higher risk of surviving the transplant, as opposed to giving this heart to a child so it could hang around for a year or two.

Tough call, but it sounds like the mother is just emotional (can't blame her).

She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival...

It's a sad world when transplant doctors doing triage are accused of discrimination, simply because they saved the ones who're more likely to survive long term.

"She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival..."

Well, they DID discriminate. That's pretty clear. The issue is that the mother seems to feel that such discrimination isn't justified.

There was no prejudice...

discriminate

dɪˈskrɪmɪneɪt/

make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age.

They didn't say "Oh, it's a black baby", or "Oh, it's a baby", or "Oh, we dont save jewish babies".

They have a limited number of hearts. They can give this heart to

A.) A baby that would end up dying in less than 2 years due to genetic defects putting it at an extreme risk of getting an infection as a result of the transplant.

or

B.) A baby without a high risk of infection/death, as a result of the transplant.

This mother would like to see another child (who could live a healthy life with this transplant) die, so she can have another 1-2 years with her baby.

Doctors made the right choice.

I never said that there wad prejudice, but thanks for pointing out random facts.

dis·crim·i·natedisˈkriməˌnāt/verb

  1. 1.recognize a distinction; differentiate.

transitive verb

1a : to mark or perceive the distinguishing or peculiar features of

: to respond selectively

Discrimination is necessary when deciding who gets a transplant because there is a very limited number of organs and understanding the differences in patients is necessary.

I agree that the doctors made the right choice.

#14 Posted by Nibroc420 (13567 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@Nibroc420 said:
@thegerg said:

@Nibroc420 said:

they said he didn't qualify for a new heart because he had a rare genetic defect that put him at a high risk for tumors and infections.

So the doctors wanted to save someone who had a higher risk of surviving the transplant, as opposed to giving this heart to a child so it could hang around for a year or two.

Tough call, but it sounds like the mother is just emotional (can't blame her).

She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival...

It's a sad world when transplant doctors doing triage are accused of discrimination, simply because they saved the ones who're more likely to survive long term.

"She's now saying the doctors "discriminated" against the baby, due to it's low likelihood of survival..."

Well, they DID discriminate. That's pretty clear. The issue is that the mother seems to feel that such discrimination isn't justified.

There was no prejudice...

discriminate

dɪˈskrɪmɪneɪt/

make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age.

They didn't say "Oh, it's a black baby", or "Oh, it's a baby", or "Oh, we dont save jewish babies".

They have a limited number of hearts. They can give this heart to

A.) A baby that would end up dying in less than 2 years due to genetic defects putting it at an extreme risk of getting an infection as a result of the transplant.

or

B.) A baby without a high risk of infection/death, as a result of the transplant.

This mother would like to see another child (who could live a healthy life with this transplant) die, so she can have another 1-2 years with her baby.

Doctors made the right choice.

I never said that there wad prejudice, but thanks for pointing out random facts.

dis·crim·i·natedisˈkriməˌnāt/verb

  1. 1.recognize a distinction; differentiate.

Discrimination is necessary when deciding who gets a transplant because there is a very limited number of organs and understanding the differences in patients is necessary.

I agree that the doctors made the right choice.

By that definition, every patient is discriminated.By naming people, we're recognizing they're different. Simply by checking what blood type they are, doctors "recognize a distinction"This mother is saying that her son didn't get the transplant, because the doctors have something against disabled people.
Triage =/= Discrimination.

#15 Posted by worlock77 (22547 posts) -

Aside from Boston Children's Hospital kicking all other hospitals asses in this story the main questions is this: should doctors/hospital be able to discriminated against persons with disabilities when determining whether such a person should get a transplant?

Yes. Organs available for transplant are scarce and are far outnumbered by people needing transplants. This necessitates that doctors be very selective about who gets the transplant. By awarding the transplant to one person they're discriminating against many other people who have just as much need of it.

#16 Edited by thegerg (14600 posts) -

@Nibroc420: By drawing a distinction between 2 people and acting up on it a doctor would be discriminating. It's not a bad thing, it's just how the world works, and it's just what that word means. That word can carry some negative connotation, but understand that using that word to accurately describe the actions of a doctor does not mean that those actions must be prejudiced.

#17 Posted by Master_Live (13950 posts) -

@Master_Live said:

Aside from Boston Children's Hospital kicking all other hospitals asses in this story the main questions is this: should doctors/hospital be able to discriminated against persons with disabilities when determining whether such a person should get a transplant?

Yes. Organs available for transplant are scarce and are far outnumbered by people needing transplants. This necessitates that doctors be very selective about who gets the transplant. By awarding the transplant to one person they're discriminating against many other people who have just as much need of it.

Yep, I think we all are in general agreement in this topic. Someone should bookmark this.

#18 Posted by leviathan91 (7763 posts) -

@Master_Live said:

Aside from Boston Children's Hospital kicking all other hospitals asses in this story the main questions is this: should doctors/hospital be able to discriminated against persons with disabilities when determining whether such a person should get a transplant?

Yes. Organs available for transplant are scarce and are far outnumbered by people needing transplants. This necessitates that doctors be very selective about who gets the transplant. By awarding the transplant to one person they're discriminating against many other people who have just as much need of it.

This is unfortunately true, but I still feel sympathetic to the parents and their child.

That said, there's stem cell research which could one day mitigate the situation.

#19 Posted by LJS9502_basic (149985 posts) -

With the limited amount of viable transplants....they tend to give them to those who are not a risky subject.

#20 Posted by Gaming-Planet (13870 posts) -

The mom is hot.

The story... well, sad. An unfair world we live in.

#21 Edited by Nengo_Flow (9376 posts) -

Im sorry to say, but I have to go wit the "Why waste something so valuable of something that is not worth it" argument. Probably makes me a terrible person in some people's eyes, but I generally think objectively. Yes its sad, yes they have their right and their rights to live, but... If you asked me which one I would give it to, I have to go with the healthy baby.

I dont know, sometimes I wish I was more sensitive to things and all that, but thats how I feel on the argument...

Maybe the reason people are feeling like the doctors are evil in this case is probably becuz its a baby. What if it was a long time smoker who was in need of a heart transplant, I bet people wouldnt have gaven a crap if the doctors denied him.

#22 Posted by magicalclick (22364 posts) -

Hmmmm..... Die now or live painfully for few more years without the capability to enjoy video games, Disneyland, and sex? I would choose death. Too bad I would not have a choice if I was a 5 month old baby.

#23 Edited by -TheSecondSign- (9179 posts) -

I feel sorry for her but if they give her child the heart they could very well be taking it from another infant/small child.

If the organ is rare already and the consequences of the transplant aren't even set in stone for this child, it seems to be the proper decision.

The infant seems like it'll still be knocking on death's door even if it gets the transplant, and its future is still undecided.

Meanwhile, another infant could have a far greater chance of survival with the same heart.

I recognize and feel for her pain, and I wouldn't expect any less of a reaction from a grieving mother, but at the end of the day, chances are the heart would do more good for someone else. Sad, but sometimes, there's no winning situation.

#24 Posted by sonicare (53448 posts) -

@Nibroc420: Completely agree with you. People dont want to accept the fact that we live in a world with limited resources. Hard calls like this have to be made. The doctors decided that giving a heart to a child with a very limited potential and other serious health problems was not a wise decision. They would rather give the heart to a child who would have a higher chance of survival. I cant fault them for that.

Same reason why many doctors wont do bone marrow transplants or heart transplants on 90+ year old people.

#25 Posted by Barbariser (6717 posts) -

The problem here is not the triage system. It actually worked fantastically well in this case - the baby was saved without needing a heart transplant and given that demand for heart transplants exceeds the supply by a factor of two to three times, it was probably a very good thing that they didn't perform the operation on him. I'm more worried about trained medical professionals outright lying about the symptoms of Coffins-Siris syndrome to be mother and apparently offering inadequate treatment to the boy.

#26 Posted by jrmorgan23 (54 posts) -

@Aljosa23: it's amazing he lived as long as did without a heart. Now that he has one he may never leave this planet. #sadface

#27 Edited by HoolaHoopMan (7720 posts) -

Organs are in short supply. I really have no problem with doctors denying a transplant to a patient which will most likely not even live a long life given the procedure. It sucks and the story is a tear jerker, but I still don't disagree with the decision as heartless as that sounds.

#28 Posted by Barbariser (6717 posts) -

Organs are in short supply. I really have no problem with doctors denying a transplant to a patient which will most likely not even live a long life given the procedure. It sucks and the story is a tear jerker, but I still don't disagree with the decision as heartless as that sounds.

#29 Posted by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

I can see why, but it is saddening.

Too bad medical suicide is illegal in most states. I would probably kill myself knowing I would have to deal with chronic heart attacks.