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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Staying in line

A tragic story no doubt.
I am not a doctor but giving a liver to a cancer patient ?
What if all liver transplant patients start protesting ?
How did this make national news ?

Why didn't the 150 "supporters" each contribute a grand or so and pay for the op ?
And the dear family, did they consider getting a mortgage ? Selling the family jewelry ? Stocks ?
Furniture ?
ABC News: Teen Tragedy Prompts Murder Allegations

Last edited by mlfun; 12-21-2007 at 02:52 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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On Thursday, the family rallied supporters online and staged a protest at Cigna's Glendale office with about 150 people, including many members of the local Armenian community and the California Nurses Assn., which had released statements supporting the family's cause.

Later in the day, Cigna released a statement approving the transplant payment.

"Although it is outside the scope of the plan's coverage, and despite the lack of medical evidence regarding the effectiveness of such treatment," spokesman Wendell Potter wrote, "Cigna HealthCare has decided to make an exception in this rare and unusual case

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 03:19 PM
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Since nobody knows what you're talking about, let me help.

The Raw Story | Family of dead teen to sue insurer that dallied on liver transplant
California nurses group says insurer CIGNA has 'blood on their hands'

The family of a 17-year-old California girl who died after being initially denied payment for a liver transplant is suing the teen's insurance company, an attorney for the family said Friday.

Nataline Sarkisyan, who died Thursday night after her family removed her from life support, had been in a vegetative state for weeks due to complications following a bone marrow transplant. Insurer CIGNA HealthCare had first denied a doctor-recommended liver transplant for Nataline, who suffered from leukemia, but had reversed course yesterday in the face of mounting public pressure.

The girl had been hospitalized since mid-November, but her condition had recently worsened due to a lung condition, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. It was not immediately clear when Nataline entered a vegetative state.

Noted defense attorney Mark Geragos told reporters at a Friday news conference that the girl's family will file a civil lawsuit against CIGNA, as well as urge a California district attorney to seek either manslaughter or murder charges against the company.

"CIGNA Health Corporation literally, maliciously killed her...they conciously disregarded her life," Geragos said of CIGNA. "And they did that for one specific reason: they did not want to pay for her after-care."

Doctors at UCLA determined she needed a transplant and sent a letter to CIGNA on Dec. 11 stating that patients in similar situations who undergo transplants had a six-month survival rate of about 65 percent. The Philadelphia-based health insurance company denied payment for the transplant, saying the procedure was experimental and outside the scope of coverage.

On Thursday, about 150 teenagers and nurses protested outside CIGNA's office in Glendale, Calif. As the protesters rallied, the company rethought its earlier decision and said it would approve the transplant.

But the reversal didn't come early enough to help Nataline.

Liz Jacobs, a spokeswoman for the California Nurses Association -- one of the groups that had pushed for CIGNA to change its mind -- told RAW STORY that it was fair to hold the the insurer at fault.

"This is a tragedy that could have been prevented," said Jacobs, who is a registered nurse. "They have blood on their hands, they were responsible."

Jacobs added that it was unfortunate that the family had to resort to outside efforts to convince CIGNA to grant the transplant.

"For them to have to go through what they've had to go through, calling a press conference, a rally. CIGNA was inundated...people shouldn't have to go to these lengths" she said. "We have dedicated our mission as nurses to advocate for patients -- and often, more and more, that means taking it beyond the hospitals and into the marble lobbies of the insurance companies."

Despite their late change of policy, CIGNA said in an e-mail statement before the girl died that there was a lack of medical evidence showing the procedure would work in Nataline's case.

"Our hearts go out to Nataline and her family, as they endure this terrible ordeal," the company said. " ... CIGNA HealthCare has decided to make an exception in this rare and unusual case and we will provide coverage should she proceed with the requested liver transplant."

In emotional statements at Friday's press conference, Nataline's father and brother spoke out against the insurance company.

"These CIGNA people," said Nataline's father, "they cannot make people's decision whether they're going to live or die."
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 03:26 PM
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Now then, I do find this outrageous, but not for the reasons everyone may think.

There was apparently a liver procured and ready to be transplanted. The doctors & nurses thought enough of their skills and the prognosis that they wrote CIGNA to advocate they approve payment for the 'experimental' operation.

So, with a patient's life on the line, why didn't the doctors go ahead with the procedure?

They're murderers too. They should all be stripped of their licenses to practice medicine. The administrators of the hospital are all guilty too.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 03:52 PM
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Now then, I do find this outrageous, but not for the reasons everyone may think.

There was apparently a liver procured and ready to be transplanted. The doctors & nurses thought enough of their skills and the prognosis that they wrote CIGNA to advocate they approve payment for the 'experimental' operation.

So, with a patient's life on the line, why didn't the doctors go ahead with the procedure?

They're murderers too. They should all be stripped of their licenses to practice medicine. The administrators of the hospital are all guilty too.
I hadn't considered that perspective. Maybe their malpractice coverage comes into play? Guessing, here.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 09:40 PM
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Let me play Devil's Advocate.

I don't really understand the American health system but I do know it involves big business and shareholders. That to me is a bad mix. They were looking at it from a business stand point.
The girl had so much going wrong for her at the time, they felt it was a poor investment.
Kinda like putting a new engine in a clapped out, rusty car.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 09:45 PM
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I've scrolled through all the posts in this matter, lots of words, saw them but didn't read them. Suffice it to say I don't give a shit.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 10:38 PM
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Let me play Devil's Advocate.

I don't really understand the American health system but I do know it involves big business and shareholders. That to me is a bad mix. They were looking at it from a business stand point.
The girl had so much going wrong for her at the time, they felt it was a poor investment.
Kinda like putting a new engine in a clapped out, rusty car.

This is a point I thought of but considering the docs and nurses all fell on the side of the patient I would think Cigna should have agreed before it became a publicity fiasco for them. Still more information is needed regarding the young girls health. News outlets just want to engage and enrage to keep you reading.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 11:57 PM
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I've scrolled through all the posts in this matter, lots of words, saw them but didn't read them. Suffice it to say I don't give a shit.
But this is a valuble human life we're talking about here. She didn't deserve this! She died, dammit!

Okay, so I thought attempting to argue with you would help me give a shit and, regrettably, it didn't help.

I've often wondered if sliced up human livers would catch more catfish than chicken livers? Whaddaya think?

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-22-2007, 12:06 AM
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Let me play Devil's Advocate.

I don't really understand the American health system but I do know it involves big business and shareholders. That to me is a bad mix. They were looking at it from a business stand point.
The girl had so much going wrong for her at the time, they felt it was a poor investment.
Kinda like putting a new engine in a clapped out, rusty car.

I assume the source of the liver was someone that had most recently died, I agree with you Nobster, basically making this decision when talking about a donated organ (not coming from a living donor) it is up to the medical experts where it should go. Would this girl have survived any longer with this liver rather than a healthy 20 or 30something waiting for a new liver to live a long helpful productive life?

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