Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

Heart of a Coward
by Lee

Perhaps it’s just due to everything that went on with my dad recently, but this story really boiled my blood.

A hospital was fined $18,000 Friday because a doctor exaggerated the severity of some patients’ conditions to move them up on the heart transplant waiting list.

The New York Health Department cited Albany Medical Center Hospital for nine violations and accused a physician of submitting inaccurate information to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which runs the nation’s transplant system under a federal contract.

Inspectors comparing medical charts and information sent to the transplant network found that in five cases, the hospital falsely reported that the patients would die within a week without a heart transplant.

The investigation came after a routine audit last year by the network found record-keeping discrepancies for the majority of 45 patients listed as most critically in need of a new heart. The state investigation concurred with the network’s report.

“The pride and the drive for success took over common sense,” said state Health Commissioner Antonia Novello, adding that the hospital lacked oversight on the program’s record-keeping.

I’m not a very litigious person, but if I was the surviving family members of someone who was on the transplant list during this time period and died waiting for a heart, I’d be calling a lawyer.  The reason the transplant list exists is so that doctors can perform triage on patients and determine which ones truly need the donor heart before the others.  These doctors, either for personal gratification or glorification, lied to get their patients further up on the list than they deserved, the end result of which is that a more deserving patient died.

Simply disgusting.  These doctors should have their medical licenses revoked.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/04 at 12:54 PM (Discuss this in the forums)


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