From FOX NEWS | Last Updated: 10:27 AM, August 13, 2013 | Posted: 10:23 AM, August 13, 2013
A 15-year-old Georgia teen was denied a shot at a life-saving heart transplant because of his history with law enforcement and poor grades, according to his family.
MyFoxAtlanta.com reports that officials at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston have informed patient Anthony Stokes’ family that he doesn’t qualify for its heart transplant list because he has a history of “non-compliance.”
“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.com.
More at the link, and at Fox News.
Doctors have not revealed their reasons, but friends of the family have said that Mr Stokes’ juvenile record played a part, as did his performance in school.
Not everybody who needs a heart transplant can get one, because there are simply not enough donor hearts available. Clearly, some people are going to die waiting for a transplant that they never receive. There are plenty of criteria, including the non-cardiac health of the prospective recipient, his age, and his lifestyle; does he abuse drugs or alcohol, things like that.
Well, I’d say that being a criminal ought to be a disabling factor; why should people who are not criminals, people who don’t have a police record, have to wait for a heart, and possibly never get one, so that a criminal can be saved?
Criminals can reform, of course, and we all hope that they do. And when we reach the point at which everybody who needs a heart transplant who doesn’t have a criminal record can get one, then we could reasonably place criminals on the list, hoping that a second chance at life will help with that reform process.
But until that time, no, no way should a convicted criminal, even if he is a juvenile, be ahead of any innocent person on the transplant waiting list.