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AP: Cheney Heart Transplant ‘Reopens Debate’

From a highly skeptical Associated Press:

Dick Cheney heart transplant reopens debate

March 25, 2012

CHICAGO — Doctors say it is unlikely that former Vice President Dick Cheney got special treatment when he was given a new heart at age 71 that thousands of younger people also were in line to receive.

Still, his case reopens debate about whether rules should be changed to favor youth over age in giving out scarce organs. As it stands now, time on the waiting list, medical need and where you live determine the odds of scoring a new heart — not how many years you’ll live to make use of it.

It’s unlikely that Mr. Cheney got special treatment, then why bring it up, unless you want to suggest that maybe he did get special treatment?

By the way, if it were Bill Clinton getting a heart transplant, would the AP say that it ‘reopened any debate’?

“The ethical issues are not that he had a transplant, but who didn’t?” Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at Scripps Health in La Jolla, Calif., wrote on Twitter

He should have just taken the pain pill so someone, preferably a female minority could live.

“We have done several patients hovering around age 70,” although that’s about “the upper limit” for a transplant, said Dr. Mariell Jessup, a University of Pennsylvania heart-failure specialist and an American Heart Association spokeswoman. “The fact he waited such a long time shows he didn’t get any favors.”

But the AP goes on to suggest that Cheney didn’t want very long.

More than 3,100 Americans are now waiting for a new heart, and about 330 die each year before one becomes available. When one does, doctors check to see who is a good match and in greatest medical need. The heart is offered locally, then regionally and finally nationally until a match is made.

“You can’t leapfrog the system,” said Dr. Allen Taylor, cardiology chief at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “It’s a very regimented and fair process and heavily policed.” …

But the headline and lead would never give you that impression.

Patients can get on more than one transplant list if they can afford the medical tests that each center requires to ensure eligibility, and can afford to fly there on short notice if an organ becomes available

You see, rich people get all the breaks.

“Most centers wouldn’t put somebody on” at Cheney’s age, said University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Art Caplan, who has testified before many panels on organ-sharing issues.

“I’ve been arguing for a long time that the system should pay more attention to age because you’ll get a better return on the gift” because younger people are more likely to live longer with a donor organ, Caplan said

This is from a ‘bioethicist.’ A man who is probably in line for one of Obama’s ‘death panels.’

Meanwhile, ABC News is even less subtle:

Is Dick Cheney Too Old for a Heart Transplant?

March 25, 2012

As Dick Cheney recovers from heart transplant surgery, questions are being raised about whether the former vice president is too old for a new heart.

Cheney, 71, who received the new heart Saturday at a hospital in Falls Church, Va., has been on the cardiac transplant list for more than 20 months. Some medical centers will not perform a heart transplant on patient over 65, but other major centers will perform transplants on patients who are as old as 72

ABC News chief medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said the average waiting time for a heart transplant at UCLA Medical Center is three to six months. But Cheney waited for more than 20 months to receive a new heart.

Experts differ on whether the 20-month wait is longer than normal. "Twenty months, as an outpatient, [is] not [an] unusually long wait," Dr. Marrick Kukin, director of heart failure at St. Lukes Roosevelt in New York said…

And yet Reuters says:

Analysis: Cheney waited longer than average for heart transplant

By Julie Steenhuysen and Debra Sherman
March 25, 2012

CHICAGO (Reuters) – At 71, former Vice President Dick Cheney was older than average for a heart transplant and had to wait longer than the typical patient as well — 20 months compared with a year or less

But get used to it. Especially if Obama-Care is upheld by the Supreme Court.

We will be having these kind of discussions for the rest of time.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 26th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “AP: Cheney Heart Transplant ‘Reopens Debate’”

  1. artboyusa says:

    Well, it reopened his chest anyway…

  2. GetBackJack says:

    I’m surprised the federal government hadn’t put Rules in place already that Dick Cheney would not be allowed to have a heart transplant.

    I’m sure this oversight will be corrected soon.

    For all Conservatives.

    Toe The Party Line, or bad dog, no biscuit. (whack, whack)

  3. mr_bill says:

    I’ve heard of people waiting longer than 20 months to have a tooth extracted…in the UK with its wonderful single-payer system.

  4. P. Aaron says:

    Only have to wait a few months to boot Obama and bitch-slap the commie-media.

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