Adventures of a Kidney Donor

November 20, 2010

The Real Death Panels

Filed under: Support — by anne315 @ 12:18 pm
Tags: , , ,

Keith Olbermann had an excellent segment on last night about the real death panels. The conservatives are always yapping about death panels and rationed care. Meanwhile in Arizona, patients who are in desperate need of transplants are being turned down due to budget cuts led by the Republican dominated legislature and Republican governor Jan Brewer. This news feature from KTAR in Phoenix tells a heartbreaking story:

Ethics expert condemns AHCCCS budget cuts

by Kevin Tripp/KTAR (November 19th, 2010 @ 9:20am) 

PHOENIX — An expert in medical ethics says it is unethical and immoral to deny an organ transplant after it has been offered, as was done by Arizona’s health care system for the poor because of budget cuts.

Dr. Arthur Caplan from the Center for Bio-Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania said there was a lot of talk about “death panels” during the debate over President Barack Obama’s health care plan.

He said the case of Francisco Felix of Phoenix “is the worst example of a death panel I can think of because you’re taking people who could be saved, who relied on a promise that the money would be there to save them, and then telling them that, to balance the budget, you’re going to let them die.”

Felix was in a Phoenix hospital Monday, being prepped for a liver transplant, when he was notified that the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System would not pay for the operation. Unable to come up with $200,000, his donor liver went to another patient.

AHCCCS stopped covering certain transplant operations under cost-cutting measures adopted by the Legislature last spring.

Denying organs to dying patients is one thing, Caplan said, but promising to pay for a transplant and then going back on your word is another.

“I think this is scurrilous. It’s just the worst abandonment of the most vulnerable citizens in Arizona. You basically have had them rely on a promise. They make their plan, they’re going to hope they get their shot, then an organ becomes available and — then to find out that the promise was reneged upon, I think, is just terrible.

“Some Democrats, who are in the minority in the Arizona Legislature, have suggested a special session to revise the AHCCCS budget.

However, Gov. Jan Brewer says the AHCCCS cuts were necessary because of federal mandates in Obamacare. She has not called a special session.

Felix’s family said he still hopes to get a liver transplant. He now has an active account with the “National Transplant Assistance Fund.” Contributions can be made by phone at 1-800-642-8393 or online at National Transplant Assistance Fund  

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

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