Without a new kidney, Jesus Navarro will die. He has a willing donor (his wife) and private insurance to pay for the transplant. But he faces what may be an insurmountable hurdle in the race to save his life: He is an illegal immigrant.

Administrators at UC San Francisco Medical Center are refusing to transplant a kidney from Navarro's wife, saying there is no guarantee he will receive adequate follow-up care, given his uncertain status.

I can't see what the surgeons' problem is here. The donated kidney is coming from the sick man's wife. She would not be donating it to anybody else so it's not a matter of who would be the best recipient of the kidney. Therefore, the surgeons appear to be asking if it is worth their time to do the surgery.


YOU’RE NOT WORTH IT — 6 Comments

  1. Erika left a comment on Facebook regarding this story.

    In the UK he would not be deported until his follow up care was well established and it would be safe to deport him

  2. The letters to the editor re this local story are stomach-churning in their heartlessness (talk about need for an organ transplant!)

    The way some people can turn a human-drawn ***line on a map*** into the Judgment of God, is something I’ll never be able to understand.

  3. This is a complicated situation.

    “UCSF’s policy for financial clearance requires candidates to present evidence of adequate and stable insurance coverage or other financial sources necessary to sustain follow-up care long after transplant surgery,” she said. “Immigration status is among many factors taken into consideration.”

    There are many factors that disallow a patient from receiving a transplant. Of course, this is America – so if you’re Mickey Mantle with a horrendous drinking habit, you magically make it to the top of the list and get a liver anyway.

    Further, his insurance coverage is about to go away as he is no longer working. Yet another example of our lovely and very broken “health care system” which will leave this man with other complications regarding his health. He will end up on Medicaid – despite his immigration status – Medicaid will not pay for the anti-rejection drugs or the transplant.

    As someone who works for a hospital that is going broke and now to be sold, and is, therefore, wondering if I will have a job in the long run, forcing hospitals to provide medical care without reimbursement (call it universal coverage via the back door) is not an answer.

    What needs to happen is we need to shut down the military industrial complex and channel our Federal resources into a universal healthcare system.

    We need to rethink our current immigration policy so that there is an appropriate path to citizenship for folks such as this.

    Just wondering…(honestly)…if we put him on a plane to Britain (1) would he be allowed in the country given his current status and (2) if allowed in, would he be instantly eligible to receive universal care under the current plan?

  4. Or Canada…or Germany. I fear that he would not be allowed in, which would preclude participation in the otherwise wonderful health systems in those countries.

    Lois, he would essentially have to relocate permanently, as he would need coverage for all the extensive follow up/drugs/etc.