Teen Denied Spot on Transplant List

A teen boy in Georgia is being denied a spot on a heart transplant list because the hospital says that he has a history of “noncompliance”. The 15-year-old boy, Anthony Stokes, has been in the care of doctors for a month due to an enlarged heart and has been given an estimate of around six months to live if he doesn’t get a new heart. Doctors are concerned that he has no evidence of taking his medication or continuing follow up treatment, so they are not putting him on the transplant list. His family believes that the hospital is denying him due to low grades and that he has been in trouble with the law in the past. The hospital has denied the allegation and has stated that they are looking at any avenue they can take with the family but as of now he is going to be released from the hospital in about a month. Without the transplant, Anthony will surly die. Hospital spokeswoman Patty Gregory said in a statement to ABCNews.com, “We follow very specific criteria in determining eligibility for a transplant of any kind.”

Is that enough of a reason to deny a teenager a spot on the list? Non-compliance usually means that the lifestyle of the recipient dictates whether or not the procedure will benefit the patient in the long term, such as the liver transplant candidate that doesn’t stop drinking, or the lung transplant candidate that won’t quit smoking. These are some of the factors doctors take into consideration. Is a history of getting in trouble with the law a fair denial of life?

Medical mistakes, or “medical malpractice,” often result in catastrophic injury or death. A claim against a physician or hospital staff requires evidence that the health care provider violated the “Standard of Care,” or the rules health care providers must follow in providing medical care to patients.