Riley Hancey denied life saving transplant after smoking marijuana. Was one hospital right to deny a life saving operation?
Hancey had been slated to undergo the life saving operation with the University of Utah Hospital but was taken off a list after lab work detected THC (the chief intoxicant in marijuana) in Riley’s system.
The teen conceded having smoked with friends on Thanksgiving night, with a doctor consequently telling the youth, to ‘you will die, you better get your affairs in order’ reported KSL.
Told the teen’s father, Mark Hancey: ‘I looked at Riley and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this poor soul looks like death’.
Adding, ‘Riley did smoke marijuana on Thanksgiving night with his friends,’
‘It’s not like he’s a smoker for 30 years and (had) deteriorating lungs because of that.’
A report via BuzzFeed News told of Riley falling ill on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving being gripped with pneumonia and hospitalized.
Until becoming ill, Riley Hancey had been an avid skier, river runner and biker.
Ten days after being hospitalized, Riley’s lungs collapsed with doctors telling the youth he needed a double-lung transplant to live.
Told Riley’s dad: ‘She was willing to let him die over testing positive for marijuana. This is what shocked me’.
In a statement, the hospital noted that ‘we do not transplant organs in patients with active alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use or dependencies until these issues are addressed, as these substances are contraindicated for a transplant. With rare exceptions, marijuana use is illegal in Utah.’
Mark Hancey said his son had been drug-free for one year before he became sick.
With doctors telling the teen he was near death, the family frantically looked for a hospital that would perform the transplant. Thankfully, they found one in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania which agreed, where others had resisted.
Riley underwent the transplant two weeks ago.
‘He looked so healthy,’ Mark Hancey told KSL. ‘It made all the difference, and he still looks healthy. … He’s still fighting, and he’s doing well.’
Friends created a YouCaring page to raise money to cover for Riley’s medical expenses.
And then there were these reactions on the web, see what you think?
‘I can state the real facts, he did not test positive for THC. He tested positive for cannibinoid metabolites. If you have any exposure to the proven therapeutic effects of CDB among the substances, you will have “failed” their tests. The lack of consistency in the United States with regards to the scientifically proven therapeutic effects of the class of cannibinoids is a court case needing to be resolved. Utah is in danger of being negligent with regards to its legislation.’
‘You throw technical terms around as if you are an authority, but there are no scientific studies showing any therapeutic benefits of marijuana. Anecdotal cases are not scientific. Furthermore, negligence requires a breach of standard of care and cannibis currently has no place in allopathic or osteopathic medicine.’
‘His father stated “Riley did smoke marijuana on Thanksgiving night with his friends” That sounds like recreational use and is illegal in the state of Utah at this time. While I am not sure I agree with the stringent transplant rules, they are the rules and must be followed for the safety and fairness for all people. Kudos to his father for not settling on what the U stated to him and looking elsewhere.’
‘Healthcare isn’t a right. It’s a luxury. And if there are transplant candidates who are free of substances that could put the transplant in jeopardy, then clearly they should be placed higher on the list than this guy. Don’t take your health, your mind, and the lives of other people for granted – don’t do stupid things like smoke pot, drink alcohol, and use other drugs.’
‘Healthcare is a right. It’s just a luxury in America.’
‘I don’t think legality is the issue here. Healthy organs are a very limited resource so they go to those who have VB the best chance at accepting and then remaining healthy. Same reason current alcoholics don’t usually get liver transplants and alcohol is legal.’