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Putting Profits Before People

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 5:01am
Pauline W. Chen, MD

Late in 2007 I found myself riveted by a case playing out at the University of California, Los Angeles, the medical center where I trained and had once worked as a transplant surgeon. A 17-year-old girl named Nataline Sarkisyan was in desperate need of a transplant after receiving aggressive treatment that cured her recurrent leukemia but caused her liver to fail. Without a new organ, she would die in a matter of a days; with one, she had a 65 percent chance of surviving. Her doctors placed her on the liver transplant waiting list.

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