Originally published July 27 2010
Accused murderer receives liver organ transplant while others wait to die
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Johnny Concepcion is 42 years old. After divorcing his wife, she was found stabbed to death in their home, suffering at least 15 stab wounds. Concepcion reportedly confessed to his friends that he killed his wife, and he soon found himself the subject of a city-wide manhunt in New York City. On the run from authorities, Concepcion decided to kill himself by drinking a container of rat poison.
But that's not where this story gets weird. The weird part is that after the rat poison destroyed his liver, Concepcion found himself at the top of a liver transplant list at a hospital in New York City. With over 16,000 other people waiting for a liver -- many of whom undoubtedly are not murderers -- somehow Concepcion was chosen to receive the next available liver from an organ donor.
At a cost of several hundred thousand dollars (probably paid by taxpayers), Concepcion was given the new liver transplant and then arrested and taken to jail. He now awaits an August 11 court hearing to face the charge of murder.
Huge problems in the organ transplant industryI've been an outspoken opponent of the organ transplant industry for several years. While admittedly the industry does save some lives, it has been apparent for a long time that the industry is far more interested in profit than compassion. Organ transplants make hundreds of millions of dollars for the hospitals, surgeons, organ transportation companies and other specialists involved in transplants. The families whose loved ones donate those organs, meanwhile, receive absolutely nothing for the gift of valuable organs they donate to this system.
This is a case where a "product" (the organ) is given freely to an industry that then turns around and seeks to maximize its profits often without regard to quality of life. And this case of Johnny Concepcion demonstrates this perfectly: Rather than giving the liver to a human being who truly deserves a second chance, the doctors decided to give it to a man accused of murder... and a man who destroyed his own liver by drinking rat poison.
To which I say, "Are you crazy?"
Shouldn't organ transplants go to those who deserve them?If you drink rat poison and destroy your own liver, that should probably disqualify you from the transplant list. Why? Because you've already proven you don't value your own God-given organs. Why should modern medicine hand over a new one?
The answer, of course, is because there's big money to be made in transplants. So even the guy who consciously drinks poison and destroys his own liver is still on the transplant list. I suppose if someone shoots themselves in the chest, they'd still be on the list to receive a heart transplant too, right?
Well, the sad truth of the matter is that -- get this -- most people (but not all) on organ transplant lists have destroyed their own organs!
Yep, I said it. I told the truth: The majority (but not all) of heart, lung, liver and kidney transplant patients are those who suffer from a history of chemical abuse or nutritional abuse of their bodies. These people include lifelong smokers, drug addicts, alcohol abusers and junk food eaters.
Again, this is most but not all organ transplant recipients. Some of those waiting for organ transplants are truly innocent victims who suffered a car crash, for example, or a rare disease affliction through no fault of their own.
Now what I'm proposing here is going to be extremely unpopular in the organ transplant industry, but it makes sense from a human ethics point of view:
Shouldn't transplants first go to those who most DESERVE a second chance?
Commonsense guidelines for organ transplantsIn other words, if your hospital has one spare liver, and you have to choose between three people who all need it (and they're all a recipient match), and the first person is an alcoholic who destroyed his own liver with drinking, and the second person destroyed his own liver with rat poison, but the third person was in a construction accident and lost half his liver through no fault of his own, shouldn't the third person get the liver?
Because, let's face it: There are not enough livers to go around. Not by a long shot. Most people on the transplant waiting list never get a transplant. Even some truly deserving people. And far too often, livers go to people who arguably don't deserve them because they decided to destroy their first liver.
In my view, we should start organizing transplant recipients along the lines of medical ethics, rating each person's "deserving" score based on their level of personal responsibility with the organs they already have. Why should taxpayers, in particular, pay for a half million dollar heart transplant procedure for someone who smokes three packs of cigarettes a day and lives on processed junk food while refusing to exercise? Isn't that a terrible waste of health care dollars?
I mean, if a guy wants to kill himself with cigarettes and junk food, that's his choice. And he's got one set of organs to destroy, and that's it. It's not right to give him a second set and let him destroy those too, especially when someone else may put them to a better use.
Seriously. I know these are not popular questions, and if we had enough livers to go around for everyone, we wouldn't need to ask these questions, but in an environment where livers are limited and funds are limited does it make any sense for a murderer to get a liver while some other innocent car crash victim dies while waiting for one?
Of course not. And the fact that the transplant industry awards these precious organs to the wrong people just demonstrates how far it has veered from the path of medical ethics. (The term "medical ethics" is almost an oxymoron these days...)
Let's nail down some simple rules for organ transplants. We'll call these "common sense rules" for an industry that has lost common sense:
• Rule #1) Murderers should not qualify for organ transplants. No brainer.
• Rule #2) People who consciously destroy their own organs (such as by drinking rat poison) should not qualify for organ transplants.
• Rule #3) People who choose to live unhealthy lifestyles by consuming processed junk foods, abusing drugs or avoiding basic self-care (exercise) should not quality for organ transplants either. Why? Because it's a waste to give a valuable organ to someone who isn't going to take care of it.
• Rule #4) Those individuals who lost their own organs through no fault of their own should move up to the top of the organ transplant waiting lists.
• Rule #5) People should be required to sign a contract before receiving an organ transplant, and that contract should commit them to avoiding alcohol and drugs (including dangerous OTC painkillers which cause liver damage, for example) and pursuing a healthful diet that will support their lifelong health.
Trading in human fleshYou might call these the five basic rules for sensible organ transplantation. These rules probably make perfect sense to you and me, but they make no sense whatsoever to the organ transplant industry. That industry, you see, earns the same amount of profit regardless of whether an innocent victim gets the organ or a convicted murderer gets it. It's all the same to them.
In fact, the organ transplant industry is rife with corruption and misdeeds. I've covered stories in the past where doctors and hospitals were caught secretly trading body parts for profit. Many U.S. hospitals now engage in the black market trafficking of illegally harvested organs (http://www.naturalnews.com/028994_organ_tran...). In fact, 44 people, including medical personnel, were recently arrested in the United States for their involvement in organ trafficking.
In addition -- here's another horrifying thought -- many of the organs offered up for transplantation are diseased organs to begin with. Sometimes organs are harvested from people who are riddled with cancer! These organs are then transplanted right into recipients with no warnings about the cancer. (http://www.naturalnews.com/027353_health_dis...)
So what you have is an industry that will harvest an organ from just about anybody (cancer patients, smokers, drug users, chemotherapy victims, etc.) and transplant that organ into anybody else (murderers, rapists, smokers, etc.) and earn a hefty profit doing so.
It doesn't sound so nice when you look at the real story here, does it? The organ transplant industry is a lot darker and dishonest than what it's publicly made out to be.
Publicly, it's all sold to you as "saving lives." But behind the scenes, it's really about profiting from human flesh, regardless of whether it actually helps a human being who deserves it.
Reforms desperately neededAgain, this is not to say that the organ transplant industry doesn't sometimes do the right thing. I have no doubt it ends up saving many deserving lives, but this does not seem to be the driving factor behind its (literal) operations. The industry seems a lot more interested in finding any diseased organ it can get its hands on and thrusting it into any living recipient they can find without engaging in any sort of calculation about quality of life or human compassion.
And that's where the industry has gone terribly wrong.
Today, those who donate their organs have to face the very real possibility that their organs could be given to a murderer who may then use them to go out and commit even more murderers.
At the same time, those who receive organ transplants have no way to know whether those organs were harvested from cancer patients, drug abusers or chemotherapy victims. So even if you're "lucky enough" to receive an organ, it might already be riddled with cancer anyway. You're stuck with the transplant bill but might die of cancer from the organ you received!
Read this story, Body part harvesting company sold parts from dead cancer patients, drug users for use in surgery recipients (http://www.naturalnews.com/020109_organ_harv...)
Such is the status of the organ transplant industry today.
It doesn't have to be this way, however. There is arguably a place for organ transplants for true victims of accidents or other causes outside of their control. But for people who just eat junk foods, abuse drugs and alcohol, avoid exercise and live a toxic life, an organ transplant makes no scientific sense. But it does make money... and that's why they keep being performed.
Is it ethical to donate your organs to this system?Make no mistake: Many U.S. hospitals deal in human flesh. They are waiting for car crash victims, suicide victims and other recently dead in order to rip their organs out of their body and transplant them for profit. And although this is beyond the scope of this particular article, I have seen disturbing evidence that if you list yourself as an organ donor on your driver's license, there is a chance your organs may actually be harvested before you are truly dead.
When you're an organ donor, there's a rush, after all, to cut out your heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and other parts before they lose too much oxygen. And the very best way to do that, medically speaking, is to make sure your heart is still beating when they begin harvesting.
I truly believe there are cases where organ donors have been turned over to the organ harvesting team rather than the resuscitation team even when they were not truly dead. But we'll probably cover that in another story on another day.
In the mean time, I strongly urge you to think carefully about your own organ donation status and how your organs could end up in the body of a murderer. I realize that not all organ donations are bad, and some organ transplants truly do save deserving lives, but until the organ transplant industry reforms itself and disavows the abuses outlined here, I personally will not support it, and I will urge others to avoid it.
This is sad because I know that many deserving victims of accidents need organ transplants. But the system in place today too often denies them access to those organs while wasting them on others who simply don't deserve new organs.
Above all, remember this: the best way to save lives is to take care of the organs you were born with. If you don't destroy the liver you already have, you won't need a new one!
What destroys livers? Pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications, for one thing. So does chemotherapy. Isn't it fascinating that the treatments of one branch of medicine (oncology) create more business for the transplant industry by destroying livers, hearts and kidneys? That's called repeat business.
If you really want to destroy your liver, by the way, take some acetaminophen painkillers (http://www.naturalnews.com/026565_drugs_acet...). This common painkiller has also been linked with kidney damage (http://www.naturalnews.com/001523.html).
Think about it: If the medical industry really cared about protecting your liver, they wouldn't keep prescribing medicines that destroy livers!
Sources for this story include
ORGAN TRANSPLANTS FOR MURDERERS?
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