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Teen who received the wrong transplant

Discussion in 'News & Current Events (Articles Required)' started by JOYfulbeliever, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. Blessed-one

    Blessed-one a long journey ahead

    what's the careless error?

    being a doctor is hard coz you get to be sued the most (a big risk of being sued), as seebs said, i'm sure they'd have tried their best. Who would want to make a mistake in such an important operation and bear the consequences? *unimaginable*
  2. Dewjunkie

    Dewjunkie Well-Known Member


    What makes this little girl's life any less important because she is not an American citizen?  Her mother did what she had to do to try to save her daughter.  It's a parental instinct.  Any parent who wouldn't make every attempt to save their child's life isn't a true parent.  As a parent who has lost a daughter, (had she not been killed almost instantly), I can honestly say I would have done anything that I thought might have saved her life.   

    The fact that many people die every day waiting for transplants isn't the mother's fault, it isn't the girl's fault, it's the fault of the thousands of people who die every day (or their family members) who were too selfish to donate their organs. 

    Being an undocumented immigrant does not make someone less of a human being, nor does it preclude them from their right to life.   

  3. Starscream

    Starscream Well-Known Member

  4. Evangelion

    Evangelion <b><font size="2">δυνατός</b></font>

    Amen to those last two posts.

    Dewjunkie, my heart goes out to you. :(
  5. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

    Yeah, exactly. It's not that I don't think careless and incompetent doctors exist - it's that a mistake is proof of neither carelessness nor incompetence.

    I don't think it should be "malpractice" unless the mistake was *obvious in advance*, or clearly a result of negligence. Looking back and saying "well, the treatment didn't work" isn't grounds for malpractice.

    My mom had breast cancer, and they put her on tamoxifen (sp?), a drug which reduces the chance of breast cancer, but *RARELY* causes uterine cancer. On the whole, your chances of living are higher with tamoxifen than without. My mom got uterine cancer. Did she sue? Of course not! They offered her two choices, told her what the chances appeared to be, and let her decide. After the hysterectomy, she went back on tamoxifen - because, now, they know that the only harmful side effect it has for her is no longer a risk. :) Six months from now, if they haven't found any more evidence of cancer, she's back to normal estimated risks.

    Some people sue in circumstances like that.

    As a result, malpractice insurance is stupidly expensive.

    As a result, hospital and doctor prices are very high.


    Lest you think this is as bad as it gets, I know people who treat vets the same way. Now, in the medical industry for people, there *are* people who went into the job for the money. Maybe not many, but some.

    People doctors have to learn one animal's biology. Veterinarians have to learn a half dozen or more. People doctors get pretty high salaries. Vets get mediocre salaries. People doctors can go to dozens of schools. There are only a few colleges of veterinary medicine.

    And then, people have the NERVE to complain about the vet, as though the vet is doing this job for any reason but love of animals. !!!!!! Sometimes, animals die. Sometimes, the vet has to do something right this minute, and has to *guess* which of two options will kill the cat, and which will save it. Sometimes, you guess wrong.

    To accuse people in such heartbreaking circumstances of malfeasance... That's horrible.

    I understand the desire to do anything, anything at all, to keep your loved ones alive. But, if it doesn't work... I don't think the first response should be "blame the doctor".
  6. Evangelion

    Evangelion <b><font size="2">δυνατός</b></font>

    Onya seebs. :)
  7. Dewjunkie

    Dewjunkie Well-Known Member

    Starscream, Evangelion, thank you gentlemen for your thoughts.
  8. Dewjunkie

    Dewjunkie Well-Known Member

    Good post, seebs. Malpractice suits are unbelievably rampant, far moreso than actual malpractice.

    When my wife was in the UMC Trauma Center in Las Vegas, the doctors in Nevada were fighting the state because the state wouldn't put a limit on malpractice suits, thus making the doctors' insurance costs sky-rocket. So, many, many good doctors left Nevada for more reasonable states. The Trauma Center was actually on the verge of having to close because they couldn't staff it. Fortunately, this was right after my wife got there, and she had three phenomenal surgeons who saved her life. If our accident had happened four days later, who knows?

    People want the best in medical care, they basically want doctors to be super-human miracle workers, and then when life doesn't go according to their ideal script, they look for compensation. It's sickening, and I would love to see more legislation passed to deal with the "fix me perfect or I'll sue" mentality.
  9. Rae

    Rae Pro-Marriage. All marriage.

    Actually, I love my vet. When we took our pet cockatiel to see her, after my husband had accidentally stepped on him, she came out to see him after 10 pm at night (well, we had to pay her extra, but she was the only one willing to see him). She splinted his injuries, related to him as a hurting being, and when we let her office know he'd died, she made a donation in his name to a veterinary group that provides veterinary care in poor countries.

    I wouldn't take a pet I loved to anyone else. I think we're lucky to have such a good vet in the neighborhood. Someone else who works for her splinted our budgie's leg, and now he hops around just fine on it.

    Oh, and of course I feel for Dew's loss as well.
  10. Evangelion

    Evangelion <b><font size="2">δυνατός</b></font>

    You're welcome, Dewjunkie.

    I lost my own father at 16. He was 41. :cool:
  11. Evangelion

    Evangelion <b><font size="2">δυνατός</b></font>

    In my experience (which is admittedly limited) vets are wonderful people.

    When I lived in Tasmania, our local vet was this weird Hungarian dude called Dr Toth. He had an extraordinarily thick accent, spoke about 5 languages, and always reeked of antiseptic. But he was absolutely brilliant with animals.

    My little dog was struck by a car, and had to have a leg amputated. Dr Toth did the job beautifully, and she was hopping about on three legs in no time.

    Eventually she got hit by a second car, and didn't survive the impact. And boy, did she ever look cute (not to mention hilarious!) during her "hopping" years! :D
  12. Blindfaith

    Blindfaith God's Tornado

    Dew ~ :hug: Many many hugs and prayers to you and yours, as always. :(.&nbsp; The people within our state are finally getting on the ball about calling the legistators about the malpractice cost problem, and hopefully something will be done.&nbsp; There are quite a few doctors that I've heard of that are leaving the state.&nbsp;

    I'm so sorry Evangelion!&nbsp; We may have our differences, but pain and suffering is universal. :(&nbsp; :hug:

    I had heard on the news that that precious girl died this afternoon, and my heart just hurts tremendously for her family.&nbsp; It's so very, very sad. :cry:
  13. Evangelion

    Evangelion <b><font size="2">δυνατός</b></font>

    Thanks for your kind words, blindfaith. :wave:

    Yes, I heard about the Mexican girl on the radio during my drive to work this morning. The poor little lass!

    Her parents have refused to take her off life support, arguing that they want a second opinion.

    We can only imagine how they must be feeling right now... :(
  14. Blindfaith

    Blindfaith God's Tornado

    You're welcome Evangelion ~ anytime :wave:

    Poor parents ~ I can't begin to comprehend..........
  15. Pete Harcoff

    Pete Harcoff PeteAce - In memory of WinAce

    Other Religion
  16. Starscream

    Starscream Well-Known Member

    That is sad.&nbsp; Poor kid.&nbsp; I feel so sorry for her family.&nbsp; Hopefully they'll get a tremondous amount of support.
  17. TheBear

    TheBear NON-WOKED

    United States
  18. Rae

    Rae Pro-Marriage. All marriage.

    Geez, after all that fighting, she couldn't stay with us on earth. How very sad! I hope her parents and those who loved her get all the support they need.
  19. JOYfulbeliever

    JOYfulbeliever Well-Known Member

    I've been out of town for the weekend and it seems as though I missed quite a bit on this thread while I was gone! When I left on Friday there were only about 7 posts...now there were 38.

    Let me just say a few things...

    First of all, I can't even begin to tell you how heart broken I have been to hear that young Jesica lost her battle. This is just something that has deeply affected me, and I can't even imagine what her family is going through right now. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with them.

    That being said........this was NEVER a race issue. I don't care if she was an illegal immigrant or not, her life was just as important as a legal citizen of the United States. And no, SOG, I am NOT calling you a racist, I just believe that your comments were VERY uncalled for in this situation. Please don't jump on my case for that, that is just how I feel. Maybe my emotions are just too high strung right now, but I can't help it.

    The "careless error" question that someone had...sorry, I cant' remember who you were off the top of my head. Yes, I do feel as though this was a careless error and I am still baffled at how this happened. When a transplant takes place, there are soooooooooooooooo many people involved...from the donor, their family, their doctors, the organization that basically "sets up" the dononation and determines who the organ matches best, to the team of doctors who REMOVE the organs, to the team of doctors who TRANSPLANT the organs, to the Transplant Coordinator, to the organ recipient and their family. There are others involved, I am sure, but those are the ones that I could think of off of the top of my head. I just don't understand how that through all of those people that no one noticed this mistake. And yes, I feel as though it was careless.

    Most people don't understand the process that is involved in organ donation/transplantation. I think I recall reading where someone said this earlier, but just because a family decides to donate their loved one's organs does not mean that they will all be able to be used. There are so many factors involved, besides just the blood and tissue type as what was incorrect in this particular case. They have to take into consideration the location of the donor and the distance from the donor to the recipient (organs must be transplanted within a certain amount of time...it varies from one organ to the next...a heart the window is approximately 4 hours), the size of the organ in relation to the size of the recipient's organ/organ cavity, the "status" of the recipient (and I am not referring to social status, but their status on the waiting list, which is determined by the extent and seriousness of their illness)...just to name a few. When matching a donor and recipient, the closest matched recipient to the donor is the one that is generally offered the organ first. The transplant team then either accepts or rejects the organ according to the information that they were given. If they "accept" the organ, a team of doctors (usually at least one of the transplant team doctors) goes to the donor and physically looks at the organs. If the visual check seems to appear as a match, a team of doctors will begin to remove the organs and transport them back for transplant. The transplantation process is very specific. It is timed very precisely so that when the organ(s) arrives, they are ready to be stitched into their new body. The organ has already been removed to preserve the time that the organ is outside of the body.

    I said all of that to say this...through all of those checks and balances, I can not understand how SOMEONE didn't see this mistake and say hold up...this organ donor is such and such blood type, and Jesica is such and such blood type. I know that it was a mistake, but if everyone was doing what they were supposed to, then it should have been a mistake that NEVER happened.

    I've lived through this process. I know the organs that were offered to my sister that were turned away for various reasons, and I also know that because her transplant team was so efficient, she couldn't have received a better heart. Seven and a half years later, she is still giving that "new heart" a run for it's money. Now, do I credit the doctors for this? No, not at all. All of my credit goes to my Almighty God. I really and truly believe that her doctors ALLOWED God to guide them in this process.

    Please also understand that I am not suggesting that this should be jumped into as a malpractice suit. I do believe that the doctors involved will end up being sued over this, but that was not at all what I was suggesting. Everyone makes mistakes, even doctors, and that is to be expected. We are all humans, we have a human nature, and we are far from perfect. But something like this shouldn't happen. There are too many people involved who should be "checking behind" one another and I just feel as though they should have caught the mistake. When I asked "What, if any, punishment should be involved?", I was merely asking that as a matter of opinion from everyone. I just wanted to clear that up as well.

    I apologize if I seem really testy and snotty over this. As I said earlier, this is just a very sensitive issue for me, and it's one that I am really, deeply affected by. I know very well that I could be sitting in that family's shoes. Please know that I am not trying to offend anyone or jump on them for comments, but when I started this thread, I had no idea that it was going to turn into what it has, and I just want to clear up where I stand. I sincerely appreciate the comments that you guys have given, and I totally respect your views, I just felt as thought I needed to clear up why I feel the way that I do.

    I guess instead of trying to figure out who was at blame, or whether this child took the organ that should have gone to an "American Citizen", let's take that energy and focus it on praying for this family that is in so much pain over the loss of this beautiful, young lady who had so much life ahead of her, at the hands of a mistake that was unable to be fixed. I am preaching at myself when I say this.

    By the way, DewJunkie...thank you so much for your comments. You and your wife and daughter remain in my prayers at the loss of your precious duaghter. It is so hard to understand why God takes such special people from our lives, especially when they are so young. Sometimes it is really hard to remember that he is in control and, pardon the cliche, but it seems to fit..."Father knows best."

    I sincerely hope that I haven't offended anyone. I didn't mean to. I apologize if I came across that way. This is just an area that I am extremely passionate and emotional&nbsp;about.

    Thanks again for your comments, everyone...and remember Jesica's family in your prayers...

    In His Arms,
    Amber Joy