Response to TYT: Teen Denied Heart Transplant Over Bad Grades

While I love the Young Turks, I’m torn on this video.  Both Cenk & Ana seem to say they understand the transplant process but they oversimplify the decisions that go into listing & selecting candidates for transplant, whether they are adults, or in this case, children.

Due to privacy reasons we may never know the true reason of why this child was denied.  I know there is always some degree of politics when it comes to decisions with centers due to the scarcity of organs & the list of candidates, but to assume automatically that bad grades were the only reason?  I really do find that hard to believe.

But I disagree that it is the hospital’s responsibility to clarify this decision.  I understand the family is obviously upset, but not everyone qualifies for a transplant.

Had this been 5 or 6 years ago I might not have.  I know others who needed lungs just as badly as I did or another organ but did not qualify.

These decisions are not to be politicized, sorry.

I still love TYT, just happen to disagree with them on this particular segment & the way they chose to report it.

Having a family member needing a transplant is an entirely different set of emotions than being the one going through the process yourself.

I don’t doubt that this subject is close to Ana’s heart, & she went through an ordeal with that family member & that’s why she approached it with such fire. I just think the way she chooses to talk about it fails to take in the transplant community as a whole or the process itself.  It’s just so easy to assume that the decision making on the hospital’s behalf is flawed. It might have been, but obviously there were other factors at play that are not known.

Furthermore, the sets of tests & the listing procedures vary by organ.  I know this too but only because I have friends & know people who have had several different types of transplants.  Furthermore, the criteria vary from center to center as well.  Perhaps another center would have found this candidate suitable for a heart for different reasons. Perhaps they might have denied him.

It would have been nice if they researched to see if there was another transplant center near by the family could have sought out a second opinion.  (In many larger cities there may be more than one center to choose from.)

Here are the UNOS policies for both pediatric & adult heart transplants (as well as heart/lung).




2 thoughts on “Response to TYT: Teen Denied Heart Transplant Over Bad Grades

  1. These types of events are the ones that can give transplant programs a black eye. Basically, because they are unable to go to battle in the media …….. main stream or social due to HIPAA.

    But, as a matter of fact, the transplant programs have tried and true methods of determining qualifications ….. and whether the recipient will be compliant. (WHICH IS A HUGE DEAL)

    There was an event in Atlanta Ga a few years ago where a teen age boy was denied a listing on the heart transplant list because he was deemed to have a history of “non-compliance”. That transplant program was threatened with legal action and subsequently listed the young man. He was later transplanted. About two years later he comitted a CARJACKING, BURGLARIZED a home, SHOT at an elderly woman and DIED in a high speed police pursuit.

    IMO, what a waste of a good heart!

    Sorry, but I get wound up over these types of things.


    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW. That’s unfortunate. I tend to think they know what they are doing with the decision making process as do you and I because we’ve been through it ourselves. Compliance relates to more than grades & more than drug regiments. I relates to things like you state here. Not to say that everyone who isn’t compliant is a bad apple in the manner you pointed out but there are definitely concerns as to whether they can properly care for themselves & their organ.

      It winds me up though because many in the media poorly research these transplant stories even for features or gloss over the process we share on it & don’t really look deep enough into the process and how it works & what it even takes for the average person to get listed. I haven’t had much success in trying to “dumb” it down for those who really don’t want to hear either because there are cliff notes, but they are pretty dense set.

      Liked by 1 person

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