CNN: Hospital slapped for transplant bump


Let one patient skip to top of waiting list; rightful recipient dies

LOS ANGELES, California (AP)St. Vincent Medical Center received a rebuke from the national organ-donation network for allowing a patient to skip to the top of the waiting list for a new liver in 2003, bypassing others who were sicker.

It was the first time the United Network for Organ Sharing publicly sanctioned a member.

"It sends a message about the overall importance of patient safety and regard for the public health," the network’s executive director, Walter Graham, said Thursday.

St. Vincent admitted in September that its doctors had improperly arranged for a Saudi man to receive a liver intended for a higher-priority patient. Federal inspectors also found that the hospital removed the rightful recipient from the waiting list without telling him that it was doing so. The man later died.

The rebuke requires the hospital to alert about 4,000 of its patients about the discipline, but it doesn’t prevent it from performing other organ transplants or taking on new patients. Graham said the network stopped short of asking the federal government to suspend St. Vincent’s other transplant programs because it didn’t think patients were in imminent danger.

St. Vincent issued a statement saying it would challenge the sanction in court. The hospital, which closed its liver transplant program in November, argued the action was unjustified because it is now complying with transplant rules in its heart, kidney and pancreas programs.

Most private insurers have already removed St. Vincent from their lists of preferred providers or stopped referring patients there.


Unless you’re a Saudi.


  1. And how much did the Saudi cough “donate” cough to the hospital?

  2. The hospital’s has to find some way to pay for all those risk managers!

  3. Wow. So they can not only pay others to kill us, they can pay American doctors to kill American patients on the sly to gain illegal acces to our organ transplant lists. Why am I truly not suprised??

    One would think if they can prove (and considering the sactioning, they should be able to) that this illegal and UNethical deal caused the death of the legitimate patient the family could in effect sue and shut down the hospital.

    I love the reasoning on fighting it. It’s like the Taliban man at Yale claiming that since the Taliban aren’t in power any more all their crimes are wiped away. Tell that to the family of the dead!