UPDATE: 7/28: The New York Post has RETRACTED the original story:
“In Monday’s editions of the New York Post, we published a story that confessed wife-killer Johnny Concepcion underwent a liver-transplant operation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
The hospital yesterday issued a statement that no such operation took place. The Post relied on two NYPD sources for its report, and it is now evident they were misinformed. We apologize to our readers for the error.
Prior to publishing the story, The Post sought official response from New York-Presbyterian. The Post was denied information by the hospital, which stated it could not discuss individual cases because it would be in breach of the Health Information Privacy Act (HIPA).
Curiously, the hospital now sees itself free to publicly discuss Concepcion’s case.”
This was also noted on MSNBC. Any further updates or clarifications will be posted here.
He’s accused of stabbing his wife to death, then attempting suicide by ingesting rat poison, and he’s just received a liver transplant.
MSNBC reports that 42-year old Johnny Concepcion received his new liver at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York. His 36 year-old wife was stabbed at least 15 times after the pair separated and she won custody of their three children. Witnesses identified him as the man they saw leaving the scene.
The liver failure came after the accused killer led police on a manhunt, then swallowed rat poison. A witness called 911 and he ended up in the hospital with liver failure. He is now back in jail — with his new liver — awaiting murder charges.
According to the New York Post, there are 1,805 people currently on the state’s liver transplant list, 485 of them have been on the list for more than five years, and 50 candidates have died so far this year waiting for an organ. Many of these are children.
Organ donations are not based on a moral judgement of the patient, but on medical criteria — who is most in need of a matching organ.
That a man who is reported as having confessed to murdering his wife, then destroying his own liver in a botched suicide attempt in order to escape justice would receive this precious life-saving organ feels outrageously unjust. Just imagine being toward the top of that waiting list and learning where this particular liver went, or imagine having a child on that waiting list.
The question about how organ donation should be handled is a tricky one, though. Would you deny an organ transplant to someone who confessed to or was convicted of murder? I suspect most of us would feel that way, but how about someone merely accused of the crime? Should all people who attempt suicide be denied a transplant?
What moral judgements should come into play… and who should have the power to decide them?
I hate to think of this situation giving organ donation a bad name and discouraging donation. Please take a moment to comment on the important issue of organ donation and where you believe the ethical lines should be drawn.
Photo courtesy of photoxpress.com and Pete Linforth
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