A California Nurse Opposes Giving Organ Transplants To The Foreign-Born—Especially When They Are Known Criminals
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05/29/08 - A California Reader Asks How Health Care Becomes "Critical" To Those Who Have Never Had It

From: Bob Cobb (e-mail him)

Rarely does one look back at a personal decision made years ago with so much satisfaction.

But when, more than a decade ago, I removed my name from the California list of organ donors, I knew I would never be sorry.

At the time, I had information that few Californians did: illegal aliens were routinely getting transplants.

Now comes the worst.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in a smelly deal with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for information, four Japanese criminal kingpins—"vindictive and brutal"—received taxpayer funded liver transplants at the UCLA Medical Center.

The FBI, which procured the visas for the gangsters, admits to getting "little useful information" in exchange. Three of the gangsters, according to the story, are currently barred from re-entering the U.S.

And here's the kicker—the four transplants took place during 2000-2004, a period described by the Times as one of "pronounced organ shortage".

During the year that criminal kingpin Tadamasa Goto received his liver, 186 Los Angeles residents died waiting for that organ.[Four Japanese Gang Figures Got Liver Transplants at UCLA Hospital, By John M. Glionna and Charles Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2008]

Here's the encouraging part of the story.

According to Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania bio-ethicist:

"If you want to destroy public support for organ donation on the part of Americans, you'd be hard pressed to think of a practice that would be better suited."

Far be it from me to encourage people what to do regarding their personal positions on organ donations.

But removing ones name from the donor list might bring pressure to bear on the absurd policy of giving vital organs (which are indeed scarce) to the foreign-born—criminal or otherwise.

Cobb works in the intensive care unit of a major metropolitan hospital.

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