(NaturalNews) With reduced enforcement of the nation's immigration laws, on the order of President Obama, the illegal alien population in America is becoming more open by the day. And why not? When you no longer fear discovery and deportation, might as well "come out of the shadows," as open-border advocates are fond of saying.
The fact is, illegal immigrants haven't really been hiding "in the shadows" for some time. Obama's reduced enforcement, coupled with the spread of so-called sanctuary cities over the past several years and efforts to give illegal aliens drivers licenses, in-state tuition rates and all kinds of other benefits, has meant that the more this particular population is given, the more brazen it becomes in its demands.
Now, apparently, Americans are supposed to pay for organ transplants for illegals, even if it means taking one away from a citizen.
According to MyFoxChicago:
[August 5 marked] the seventh day of a hunger strike for protesters demanding access to organ transplants for undocumented immigrants at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. There were about 40 picketers in front of the hospital on [August 4], including the 14 people on the hunger strike.
"We're asking for help," said Blanca Gomez, 23, who needs a kidney transplant. "I go to dialysis three times a week. I'm not going off the hunger strike until I get on the transplant list."
She said she was subsisting on water and Gatorade.
The group said in all, 14 illegal aliens from Mexico who reside in Chicago and the surrounding area either need a kidney or a liver transplant. But since, you know, they're not U.S. citizens, they don't have federal (read taxpayer) health care.
That's not to say they don't have any health care; mind you, U.S. law forbids hospitals from turning anyone away, under the EMTLA law described here.
EMTLA doesn't require taxpayers to cover organ transplants, but illegal aliens now want to change that.
The protesters said they would stay until Northwestern Memorial CEO Dean Harrison agrees to a meeting. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the only hospitals in the region to offer live donor liver transplants.
The illegals have found some sympathy, namely in the chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. David Ansell.
"On the one hand, the intent of the national transplant registry is to base transplants on who needs them most, but there are indeed a whole group of people who find themselves shut out," he said. "And these are people who are uninsurable, and it creates an ethical dilemma of doing the right thing against the extreme cost of doing a transplant."
Even if "the right thing" means denying an organ to an American citizen?
"These are people who contribute to the community. The answer can't be no access, but it's going to require calling together all the transplant centers in the region, as well as politicians and members of the community to find an equitable solution," Ansell said. "The other thing to note is that 20 percent of organs come from uninsured people, but around 1 percent of organs go to uninsured people who need them. These people donate the organs, but mostly don't get access to them."
Keep in mind that an average kidney transplant costs between $100,000 and $200,000, Ansell said. What's more, there is care needed before and after the surgery, as well as medications - all of which adds up to tens of thousands more dollars.
Somebody has to pay for that coverage. In this case, once again, that "somebody," collectively, would be the American taxpayer.
Legal watchdog Judicial Watch notes:
The U.S. government already spends upwards of $4 billion a year to provide the millions of illegal immigrant who live here with medical care, according to figures released by a nonpartisan organization dedicated to researching both legal and illegal immigration. Most of that money goes to hospital emergency rooms and free clinics that treat the uninsured.
Ansell has a point but can't the same "ethical dilemma" be applied to any American citizen who would lose out on a transplant to someone in the country illegally? What are the ethics of that scenario?