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skipaway
03-25-2012, 03:53 AM
Apparently recovering at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA. Even though I despise his term as VP, I wish him well.

Cheney's Heart Transplant (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/03/24/national/w160554D56.DTL&type=politics)

DarrellH
03-25-2012, 04:15 AM
I honestly find it hard to do, but I wish no one ill will

Skittl1321
03-25-2012, 04:28 AM
I read a similar article and it made me wonder (as I often do when prominent people have transplants) if he received favor because of who he was. It said he was on the transplant list for 20 months. Is that an average amount of time?

He is also a very old man, at his age death of natural causes is not unheard of (though without the heart problems he could live another 20 years too...) It was my understanding transplants are prioritized to younger recipients. Am I wrong about that? I see from another article that an expected number of years to live after a heart transplant is less than 10. Is there great value in extending from 71 to 81? I suppose I'm not the one to make that decision for him, nor question his decision.

Either way, he has the heart now- and I wish him well in his recovery. I hope he lives a full life with it, to make the most of what is a pretty rare opportunity.

julieann
03-25-2012, 04:42 AM
You can't just put a heart in someone who is not a match because they are younger. I'm sure there have been 20 year olds on the wait list while older people have revived hearts much faster because the tissue was a match, that's just he way it is.

From one Cheney story.


More than 3,100 Americans currently are on the national waiting list for a heart transplant. Just over 2,300 heart transplants were performed last year, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. And 330 people died while waiting.

According to UNOS, 332 people over age 65 received a heart transplant last year. The majority of transplants occur in 50- to 64-year-olds.

The odds of survival are good. More than 70 percent of heart transplant recipients live at least five years, although survival is a bit lower for people over age 65.

The former vice president suffered a heart attack in 2010, his fifth since the age of 37.

milanessa
03-25-2012, 04:51 AM
He is also a very old man, at his age death of natural causes is not unheard of (though without the heart problems he could live another 20 years too...) It was my understanding transplants are prioritized to younger recipients. Am I wrong about that? I see from another article that an expected number of years to live after a heart transplant is less than 10. Is there great value in extending from 71 to 81? I suppose I'm not the one to make that decision for him, nor question his decision.



You consider 71 to be very old? Really?

Skittl1321
03-25-2012, 04:56 AM
You consider 71 to be very old? Really?

Maybe my family doesn't live long. But yes. Many people die of natural causes within the next five years. Not everyone lives to 90, most of my relatives have died by 80, if not sooner. Heart failure is common among seventy- year olds.


You can't just put a heart in someone who is not a match because they are younger.
Yes, I'm aware you have to match. But if there is a younger match- is there any priority given to age? I know there is priority given to severity of condition, and other than that, is it just first come first served?

ChelleC
03-25-2012, 05:18 AM
Is there great value in extending from 71 to 81? I suppose I'm not the one to make that decision for him, nor question his decision.



For his family, I'd say the answer is yes.

julieann
03-25-2012, 05:50 AM
match- is there any priority given to age? I know there is priority given to severity of condition, and other than that, is it just first come first served?

It's based solely on tissue match not age.

Prancer
03-25-2012, 07:02 AM
So very many tasteless jokes are coming to mind here.....

VALuvsMKwan
03-25-2012, 07:16 AM
So very many tasteless jokes are coming to mind here.....

So very true (and, like Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that).

Vash01
03-25-2012, 07:34 AM
I wish him well, as a human being, and for the sake of his family.

Garden Kitty
03-25-2012, 02:06 PM
There is some priority given based on a variety of factors, but the "match" is key. Some useful info regarding the system is located here. (http://www.organtransplants.org/understanding/unos/)

The organ system is divided into regions and patients in specific regions can get priority for donations in that region. As I understand it, a very wealthy patient may be able to speed up the process by going to hospitals in regions with a shorter wait list for a particular organ. That issue came up with Steve Jobs who went to Tennessee for his liver transplant. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31509368/ns/health-health_care/t/did-steve-jobs-wallet-help-cut-transplant-wait/)

Good luck to Cheney. Even with significant medical advantages, this is a major surgery. I hope the coverage of this surgery will encourage more people to sign up as organ donors. So many lives waiting to be saved.

agalisgv
03-25-2012, 02:26 PM
It's based solely on tissue match not age. As Garden Kitty noted, it's not just based on tissue. Age is a factor (for pediatric recipients) as is geography, length of time on the list, severity of condition, etc.

Back in the day, being over a certain age was a disqualifying factor (being over 50 made one ineligible to receive an organ). That age limit was removed. But there have been proposals over the years to limit organ recipients based on age, generally with 65 talked about as the upper limit. Here were the policy suggestions coming out of the President's Council on Bioethics in 2007 on this topic:
Policy Options for Council Consideration and Possible Action: Should age-particularly older age-be an explicit criterion in organ allocation and, if so, how would age as a criterion work in practice?

Option One: The Council could respond in the negative to this question and base such a response on the equity-related argument that the only ethically valid criterion in allocation is patient need. Whether a candidate is 35 years of age or 65 years of age is immaterial: if both are equally sick, it would be unfair to allocate an organ to the younger candidate simply because he or she is younger. To do so would constitute unethical, unfair treatment of older individuals.

Option Two: The Council could respond in the affirmative to this question and endorse the use of older age as an explicit criterion in organ allocation. It could base such a response on the concept of a natural life span, developed and advocated by Daniel Callahan. Although there is considerable variation from individual to individual, human beings have a natural span of life; the use of high-cost, intensive medical interventions-like organ transplantation-to extend that span indefinitely is an exercise in hubris and a foolhardy effort to postpone the fate that awaits us all. And, in a context of scarcity, organ transplantation in the old ultimately deprives the young of a resource that many will need simply to attain and enjoy a natural span of life. Indeed, one could argue that the old have a stake in the flourishing of the young and that youthful preferences in organ allocation are but one of many ways to support such flourishing.

In effect, an argument such as this asserts that equity requires limits on transplantation in the old. It is encumbered, however, by conceptual and practical problems, the principal one being the problem of establishing the age at which limits on transplantation would be imposed.

Option Three: The Council could respond in the affirmative and advocate the explicit integration of an age-related factor in organ allocation. Formulated and advocated by Robert Veatch, this proposal is rooted in an "over-a-lifetime" perspective on patient need for organs-a perspective that others have dubbed the "fair innings" argument. One equity-based argument holds that patient need at a given moment-in-time, regardless of patient age, is the only fair criterion for distributing. Another equity-based argument, however, views need in the context of one's whole life. From the moment-in-time perspective, there is little or no difference between the 35-year old and the 65-year old in need of an organ. From the perspective of their whole lives, however, one could argue that the 65-year old is better off than the 35-year old, simply because the former has made it to this point in life, while the latter has not- and may not without a transplant of the needed organ.

As for the practical application of this "over-a-lifetime" perspective, Veatch argues for a formula that would take age into account without absolutizing its significance (in the way that Callahan's natural span of life concept would, if it were applied in organ allocation). Assuming the now current practice of assigning points for particular criteria in, for example, kidney allocation, such a revised formula would correlate point-values and age such that as one ages, one's age-related points decrease: one's age would be inversely proportional to the value of this particular criterion in the algorithm or formula.

Option Four: The Council could circumvent a direct response to the question at hand by endorsing the practice of age-matching donor organs and transplant candidates-that is, of allocating organs with a lower expected length of functioning (ELF) to candidates with a lower expected life span (ELS). This practice derives moral support from both equity- and efficiency-based arguments: it does not neglect the need of the old for organ transplantation and, in deference to efficiency, it correlates donor organs and transplant candidates on apparently rational grounds. There are critics of this practice, however, who cite data indicating poor graft functioning results with organs that have a lower expected life of functioning. Many of these organs are procured from expanded criteria donors. http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/pcbe/background/ethics_of_organ_allocation.html

cruisin
03-25-2012, 02:48 PM
He is also a very old man,

:eek: Are you serious? Very old?


at his age death of natural causes is not unheard of

So,does that mean he should not have the same chance as anyone else with heart disease? Anyone with heart disease has a higher risk of passing from natural causes, regardless of age.


Is there great value in extending from 71 to 81?

ChelleC already answered that perfectly - for his family - yes.

I'm not a Cheney fan, but I wish him a speedy recovery.

Lacey
03-25-2012, 03:10 PM
Wow, this is a very big step. I wish him well.