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Should a well known mob boss be able to get a new organ?

posted 6/2/2008 10:57:14 AM |
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tagged: news, straddle

Just heard in the news that a well known Japanese mob boss came to UCLA to get a liver transplant. Is this fair to give him a liver while others needing a liver, or any other organ die waiting for one in our country?

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Jun 2 @ 11:08AM  
Well, Shawn NO, but life isn't fair! If u have the money u have the power now; in this country, but this been going on for yrs. Well all may burn in hell over it, but s#$%( i haven't had AC for the weekend now, getting a little use to the heat. Not to mention, making out in the car. Been a hot weekend! Some have, some not!

Jun 2 @ 11:20AM  
getting a little use to the heat. Not to mention, making out in the car.


Jun 2 @ 11:21AM  
Fair? The question and point are irrelevant. A person either matches or they don't and as long as they are a good candidate for the procedure, those are the only factors taken into consideration. Doctors take an oath to preclude the discrimination that you imply in a person getting medical treatment.

Now, I have no knowledge of this case or person, but has this person been convicted of anything or is he incarcerated? Even then, what you imply in wanting to exclude him is illegal.

Now, if this case involved somebody on death row, there could be a very interesting point to consider rhetorically.

Jun 2 @ 11:22AM  
No, it's not fair. But, as Princealucard pointed out...."f u have the money u have the power now;". It isn't right, but, it's all about the money.

Jun 2 @ 11:25AM  
Should a well known mob boss be able to get a new organ?

If he has the money, he should be able to get a new organ, piano, harpsichord, or any musical instrument he wants!

Jun 2 @ 11:26AM  
The question and point are irrelevant.

I have a problem with giving someone an organ so they can continue to kill others. As far as him having any convictions, not sure. But like I stated, he's a well known mob boss. That's good enough for me...

Jun 2 @ 11:52AM  

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Japan mob boss gets liver, gives US$100,000 to UCLA

By Charles Ornstein and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times

A powerful Japanese gang boss who received a liver transplant at the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center donated US$100,000 to the hospital shortly after the surgery, the Los Angeles Times has learned.
A plaque dated November 2001 at the entryway to a seventh-floor surgery office reads, "In grateful recognition of the Goto Research Fund established through the generosity of Mr. Tadamasa Goto."

UCLA disclosed the amount of the donation Friday in response to a Public Records Act request. Law enforcement sources say Goto, 65, is the leader of the ruthless Goto-gumi gang. He received a transplant at UCLA in July 2001, the Times reported Thursday. He made his donation less than three months later.

UCLA also acknowledged that it received a separate US$100,000 donation in September 2002 from another man who figured in Thursday's story.

The Times reported that four Japanese gang leaders or associates received liver transplants at the hospital between 2000 and 2004. All four now are barred from returning to the United States because of their gang affiliations, criminal records, or both.

The Times is not naming the second donor because it has not been able to reach him or his lawyer about the law enforcement assertion. Japanese police do not generally make public information about gang affiliations.

UCLA spokeswoman Dale Tate said the university had "no reason to question" the source of the money given by Goto or the other donor. Both donations were deposited into the Department of Surgery's Discretionary Fund, she said. When asked if the money had any bearing on the men's transplants, Tate said, "Absolutely not."

In a written statement, Tate said the surgery discretionary fund was used to support research and education for the liver transplant program.

UCLA's actions drew attention Friday from a leading U.S. senator and mixed reaction from doctors and transplant professionals.

The surgeries took place at a time of persistent shortages of donor livers. In the year of Goto's transplant, 186 patients on the list for livers in the greater Los Angeles region died while waiting for the operation.

U.S. transplant rules allow hospitals to provide organs to patients with criminal histories and to a limited number of foreign patients, but both topics have been controversial. News that UCLA had provided livers to foreigners barred from the country generated considerable comment Friday.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who has considerable influence on federal health policy and an interest in transplant oversight going back several years, said he was "worried about the credibility of the transplant system" and would demand additional information from the university.

If the transplant system "doesn't have credibility, we're not going to have people donate organs," said Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees federal hospital funds. "I think I have to get to the bottom of things."

Others said they worried the surgeries would discourage people from donating organs; others said that there are so few transplants going to either foreigners or criminals that it should have no effect.

All four of the transplants were performed by Dr. Ronald W. Busuttil, executive chairman of UCLA's surgery department, according to a person familiar with the cases. Goto's lawyer, Yoshiyuki Maki, previously confirmed that his client received a transplant at UCLA and that Busuttil subsequently examined Goto in Japan. Neither Maki nor Goto could be reached for further comment Friday.


Jun 2 @ 12:23PM  
A person either matches or they don't and as long as they are a good candidate for the procedure, those are the only factors taken into consideration. Doctors take an oath to preclude the discrimination that you imply in a person getting medical treatment.

As much as it sounds good, this isn't entirely true, as indicated by the hefty donation received by the hospital after the transplant - and thus is the way of the world. It is a huge pile of bullshit to think the health care industry is about people and not money. Yes, there are plenty of health care workers who do care, but the industry itself - hosptials, etc...the vast majority are all about profit.

However, there is much truth to the above quoted statement, too - after all, a transplant can't even be considered if the physiological ducks aren't lined up. But there is more that is taken into consideration - for one, the cost of maintaining the transplant. The drugs that TX patients take cost several hundreds of dollars a month...they need to show an ability to get those necessary drugs - however that may be done (even through free programs). What's more, if a person doesn't have an adequate support system, they may be denied a very high placement on a TX list.

I worked on kidney, liver, pancreas transplant unit. I picked up a few things...because I can promise you that social workers DO get involved with transplant patients. Very involved.

Jun 2 @ 12:29PM  
On the face of it, I think it's wrong for anyone to get preferential treatment at the expense of another when the result is death for the person not getting the transplant.
But if the they haven't been convicted of any crime (and the article doesn't say these 'gangsters' were, just calls them gangsters) and if they were a match and nobody else was then I don't see a problem.
I do wonder though, why 4 "gangsters" would need transplants so close together. What sort of behavior are they indulging in?

Jun 2 @ 12:43PM  
wtxman in posting the story adds considerable insight. I find it very interesting that all of this transpired seven years ago and just hit the paper. I am wondering if it took UCLA this long put the plaque up and/or somebody just became aware of it.

Jun 2 @ 1:07PM  
What sort of behavior are they indulging in?

Thank you! That's another factor that's considered...but not so much what a person has done that may have added to or caused the need for a transplant, but whether or not they will continue those behaviors. Yep...that, too...I guess my point is that regardless of who needs it, the decision to give someone a transplant is far more complex that it may seem. But, I don't deny that money (a wealthy patient) may stand a better chance at getting one. Look at Larry Hagman...oh, were people PISSED!

Jun 2 @ 1:47PM  
It's all about the money.....always has been, always will be.....Fair?......Depends on whether or not YOU are the one with the coins......


Jun 2 @ 2:10PM  
Well let's put it this way- Do you want to be the doctor who refused him the transplant? I'll be damned if I'll start your car for you.

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Should a well known mob boss be able to get a new organ?