According to this opinion piece, Jesica, the heart-lung transplant patient at Duke University who had the wrong type organs implanted, is an illegal alien.
I have been unable to verify this. The article refers to “other news outlets” but maybe I’m typing the wrong words in Google.
As a parent, if I had to do something illegal to save the life of my child, I would do it in a cold second.
Apparently there is some resentment toward illegal aliens coming here for complicated surgery and the taxpayers being forced to foot the bill. The article implies US citizens can die while illegal aliens get treatment and transplants.
As I understand it, UNOS is blind. Whoever needs it the most, gets it.
I think the problem here is not illegal aliens coming here for treatment. The problem is they are not able to get quality medical care in their own country. Jesica was obviously unable to have get the transplants in Mexico, so her parents brought her here. Illegally, yes, but dammit, they were trying to save her life.
I would suggest the problem be solved along the lines of the old adage, “Give a man to fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” We need to help these countries develop their medical know-how and technology so they can perform these complicated surgeries themselves. The conjoined twins from Guatemala(?) had to come here to be separated. How much less trauma would it have been on them and their families if Guatemalen doctors had been able to perform the surgery? After all, you don’t see a lot of Japanese coming here for organ transplants.
When I say “We need to help,” I do not mean we as taxpayers. I’m suggesting pharmaceutical companies, private charities, or perhaps Doctors Without Borders voluntarily help these countries develop medical technology necessary to do these delicate surgeries. Perhaps a charity or company can sponsor 100 Mexican or Guatemalan citizens who show promise to come here to be trained as doctors and surgeons and return to their country to practice.
Will this work?
And BTW, is there such thing as a medical visa, so a non-citizen can come here for medical treatment without fear of deportation?
[Fixed link. – MEB]