A man named Jesus Navarro, 37, with a wife and a three year old daughter, comes to you and says "My wife will donate her kidney. She is a match. I need a kidney transplant, or I will die. I am an undocumented immigrant."
If you were a doctor, your oath, if not your heart, would demand of you to do the transplant.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required...
If you were a person on the street, you'd probably, upon hearing of his plight, say that he should have the transplant and throw in a dollar, or two, or twenty if asked.
But if you were
Scrooge a zombie vampire squid hospital administrator, you would stamp
in huge, red letters across the paperwork because
there is no guarantee he will receive adequate follow-up care, given his uncertain status.
Or would you?
Not all administrators are zombie vampire squid:
...clinics sometimes perform organ transplants on illegal immigrants, especially when the patients are young. In one high-profile case, UCLA Medical Center gave an undocumented woman three liver transplants before she turned 21.
But health administrators also reject patients because of their immigration status, though that usually happens when the patients lack insurance.
The Bay Area, however, is not lacking. Apparently the ones at UC San Francisco, where the transplant was denied, believe that whether or not you might not have health insurance in the future takes precedence over whether or not you are human:
UC San Francisco declined to comment on Navarro's case, but Reece Fawley, executive director of transplantation, said in a statement that the clinic evaluates all patients for socioeconomic stability.
"UCSF's policy for financial clearance requires candidates to present evidence of adequate and stable insurance coverage or other financial sources necessary to sustain follow-up care long after transplant surgery," she said. "Immigration status is among many factors taken into consideration...
Navarro was caught up in an immigration audit and lost his foundry job this month. His private insurance continues for now, and he is trying to extend it. But he may end up in the state's Medi-Cal program.
That would deepen Navarro's dilemma. Though Medi-Cal will cover his daily dialysis -- which costs $17,000 a month -- because of his illegal status, it will not pay for the immunosuppressive drugs that ward off organ rejection. The drugs cost $20,000 annually. Medi-Cal also won't pay for organ transplants for illegal immigrants.
And you want to know the most ironic thing of all?
Over a 20-year period, illegal immigrants donated 2.5 percent of organs and received fewer than 1 percent, according to a 2008 study published by the American Medical Association.
That's right. Undocumented workers provided 250% more organs than they receive, and yet administrators cannot find it in them to provide a thirty-seven year old human being -- with a spouse and a dependent -- an operation which will save his life.
There is a special circle of hell reserved...
Note: There is also the in-the-news case of the a youngster potentially denied a transplant because of her mental disability. It looks like there is some hope that she will get the transplant, but again, people are playing God.
"We are in the year 2012 and my child still does not have the right to live, the right to a transplant, because she is developmentally delayed," Rivera wrote in a blog post on wolfhirshhorn.org. slamming the hospital’s decision.
Doctors say they are worried Amelia, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Wolf-Hirshhorn syndrome, wouldn’t be capable of taking the medication she would need to sustain a new organ, according to ABC News...
Now, Rivera, a 35-year-old high school English teacher from southern New Jersey, says Amelia might get the transplant...
Amelia’s parents will meet with doctors again in March.
"They are moving us through the steps," she said. "It is not a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ at this point. But, yes, I am hopeful."