Anthony Stokes, a 15-year-old, from Atlanta, Ga. has been told he doesn't qualify for a heart transplant. A Georgia teenager needs a lifesaving heart transplant, but his family says low grades and trouble with the law have kept him off the transplant list. Doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston told the family of 15-year-old Anthony Stokes that they won't put him on the transplant list because of his history of "noncompliance," according to ABC's Atlanta affiliate WSBTV. "They said they don't have any evidence that he would take his medicine or that he would go to his follow-ups," Melencia Hamilton, Anthony's mother, told WSBTV.
Bold not original to the article. So where does the part about low grades and trouble with the law come in when his own mother admits it's due to noncompliance with his medical regimen?
Noncompliance is a specific medical term that has nothing to do with grades or legal troubles. As a matter of fact, those records are not even accessible by the medical team.
Noncompliance with medical regimens is a very real problem with many patients but it becomes much more so in a transplant patient. He is only 15 and it is sad that he is in this position, but it is also obvious that his parents can not be relied upon to make him do the right thing. They have previously allowed him to miss doctors appointments (with a teenager who could die from doing so) and they have not made him take his medicine as they should have.
Jeez, if I had a minor bacterial infection my mother would have hunted me down to force feed me my meds and my dad would have held me down so she could. Except they didn't have to, because they raised me to be responsible.
These people, instead of being responsible and convincing their child to do the right thing when he had the chance or convincing the physicians that they will force him to do the right thing now, have instead resorted to the press in cynical effort to use bad publicity to force the transplant team to give them their way. I'm sorry that they are going to lose their son, but they should have done something about it much earlier.
How would you feel if your dying loved one donated organs only to have them abused by the recipient? Or your family member was the next matching person on the list? The one who would take his meds and do the right thing? The one who has a supportive, caring family who will help? The one who will die without the heart given to someone who won't take care of it? Who the doctors were aware wouldn't take care of it prior to the surgery?
And, yes, money isn't supposed to come into the decision, but TAANSTAFL. How do you feel about paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a transplant only to have it rejected because the recipient refuses to take care of himself? And those medications to prevent rejection, well, they cost thousands and, some, tens of thousands of dollars every month. Money that is provided by the benevolent taxpaying citizens. So how does it sound then for him to refuse to take them as directed?
With a noncompliant teenager (and they all are at times, that's why parents have to be there to take up the slack) and irresponsible parents there is no chance a transplant will go well. He will be just as sick and will still die, only after having taken the opportunity to live from the next matching person on the list (Because the next matching person on the list doesn't have long to find a donor, well people don't make it to the transplant lists. And don't forget that to be a donor someone healthy has to die.) and cost all of the taxpayers lot more money that could have been used to save the lives of others.
It would be nice to be able to replace organs for everyone who needs them, to be able to fix all health problems, to not worry about the costs. It would be wonderful just to be able to persuade non compliant patients to do the right thing for their own well-being. But we can't. We live in the real world, where medical personnel are issued licenses, not magic wands, and everyone has the right to screw up their life in their own way. And that's not a bad thing, either.