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Autistic Man denied heart transplant. thoughts?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DwaynieAD, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/08/autistic_boy_is_denied_a_heart.html

    My thoughts are as follows:

    he has a handicap or disability, I'm not sure what's considered "pc" nowadays.

    he appears to be overweight in the photo provided

    as far as i know getting a transplant isnt as simple as hospital today gigging tomorrow. there is alot that goes in to a transplant before, during, and after the procedure not to mention the bodies ability to cope with the trauma.

    so basicly if he can physically and mentally handle all the challenges that would be associated with the transplant then I see no reason why not, but if there is a chance he would be unwilling or unable to handle those challenges then absolutely not.
  2. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    He is a human being worthy and deserving of life. Nothing else matters.
  3. BelleNoireBass


    Apr 18, 2012
    Bay Area
    Actually there is a lot more that you need to take into account. It's not like you can just go to the heart store and pick up whatever you need for a transplant. I don't want to share my opinions, but it's not as cut and dry as "He's a human being, give him the transplant!"
  4. It's a rock and a hard place scenario. More people need heart transplants than there are transplantable hearts going around.
  5. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    That is not the question. The implication was is this person worthy because they are autistic.

    The answer is yes.
  6. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I agree, but there are more people in need of transplants than there are donors. Some people will be denied. I don't know if the article or the source was intentionally left out information.

    ...among other factors. Was autism a 90% factor in the denial, or was is 1%. I'm not a doctor. I don't know anything about the complications of a heart transplant in a patient with normal brain function, much less in someone with autism or mental disability. The doctor's job is to assess the likelihood of a successful transplant. In this case, the doctor has reason to believe that the likelihood of success is low enough to not recommend the transplant.

    With demand greater than supply, the organs go to those who are most likely to have successful transplants. Personally, I'm glad I'm not the one who has to make the decision. Should a conversation on whether or not this was a correct decision occur? Absolutely. I'm I qualified to comment. Not one bit.
  7. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    On a human scale, everybody is worthy. On a physical level, everyone is not.
  8. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    Then the Hippocratic oath is meaningless and they should just farm them out to the highest bidder.
  9. my thoughts: typical heart transplant/surgery has to have a complete physically active subject come in, or otherwise the patient has a new heart, but absolutely no awareness; dementia.

    This autistic person is also overweight; that suggests he's not physically active.

    I've seen the effects of a person having heartwork done with no success, given the details above I've listed (he was old, yes, needed a new heart, yes, living like no tomorrow, working out, keeping active, working his heart? No). I love my relative, but I know what he's experiencing now is no definition of "living" I'd want him or anyone else to go through.

    Autism vs Dementia? Sorry, a new heart isn't worth the switch.
  10. What part of the Hippocratic Oath would be meaningless?

    Using judgement to call when an operation is deemed too risky for a patient isn't breaking any part of the Hippocratic Oath.

    On a physical level, not everybody is fit for every type of medical procedure. Doctors have to apply their judgement to work and present the risks and state where they believe it is more risk than benifit to the patient.
  11. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Better get used to it.
  12. Yes, you are right. By even thinking about surgeory they are yielding it meaningless (though I do believe that is on of the reasons why surgeons, at least over here, can't comment on the US, aren't refered to as Dr.).

    There are adaptations of the Oath all around the world. And yes, core parts of the original have been stripped away in some Oaths, and some core parts need stripping away.

    But regardless, the Oath always appears to call on the judgement of the practitioner to meet the requirements of the Oath they take.

    The only thing which even comes close is this:

    However, it is still a judgement call. Not everybody is healthy enough in body or mind, to survive all medical procedures, so the doctor has to make a judgement call as to if a treatment will help or harm the patient.
  13. Illini10


    May 15, 2012
    Elmwood, IL
    I am the father of a child with Down syndrome. He had a congentital heart defect that has required two surgeries, one to repair the defect and another to replace a valve. I hope that my son, should he ever need a heart transplant, would not be denied due to his Down syndrome. That being said, a person who has cognitive disabilities would probably need significant support in place to help with post-procedure care, including would care, administration of anti-rejection medications, follow-up visits to the surgeon/physician and an understanding of lifestyle limitations/adaptations to care for the transplanted organ.
  14. Solid organ transplant requires very complex care post transplant, especially the heart.

    It requires being able to maintain a complex medication regimin, among other things. Failure to be able to maintain the medication regimin WILL result in rejection of the organ.

    If a patient is unable to care for themselves, it's more or less guaranteed that the organ will fail. Even with diligence, there's still a high risk of complications.
  15. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I don't think they are questioning his worthiness, but rather his capability. Unfortunately not everyone who needs the procedure can have it due to availability and risk of complications. It's the doctors responsibility to account for those factors.
  16. which makes me glad that I will never have to make this judgement call.
  17. Ditto
  18. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Same here. Id hate to have to deny someone a possible life saving transplant for any reason.
  19. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Banned

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    The implication is not whether he's worthy, it's whether he's a good candidate for it due to the intense post-op treatment/medication/lifestyle that's needed.

    Edit: And that's assuming the surgery is a success and he doesn't die on the table.

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