Hospital Confirms Steve Jobs's Transplant, Denies He Received Preferential Treatment

Illustration for article titled Hospital Confirms Steve Jobs's Transplant, Denies He Received Preferential Treatment

With Steve Jobs's consent, the Memphis hospital that conducted his liver transplant two months ago issued a statement denying he received any special treatment, classifying him as "the sickest person on the waiting list."


Presumably in response to the New York Times' speculation that Jobs' wealth and influence helped him secure a liver sooner than he might otherwise have, the Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee issued a statement with Jobs's consent that denied any such thing happened.

"He received a liver transplant because he was the patient with the highest MELD score (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) of his blood type and, therefore, the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available," the hospital said. In addition, Tennessee has a much smaller waiting list than a larger state, like California, which also expedited the process.

The statement does not go into any more detail on the subject, citing a respect for Jobs's privacy, but does note that Jobs is "recovering well and has an excellent prognosis." So that should put any ugly speculation to rest.



Personally, and at the risk of sounding callous, I don't really care whether or not he received preferential treatment. For one thing, anyone with that much money receives preferential treatment, be it medical, legal or social. So let's not pretend to be all shocked and horrified at the idea that someone richer than G-d got faster, better medical treatment than John Q. Public.

Secondly, the guy's medical information is private and should stay that way. I'm more bothered by reports of Steve's pancreas and liver being splashed all over the place than I am at the idea that a fabulously wealthy executive jumped the queue in a place that generally takes great pride in being a capitalist system where the free market rules.

Lastly, assuming for the moment that he did use his money and fame to gain preferential treatment, I don't blame him at all. Personally, if I knew that I were going to die without a liver transplant (or die sooner without a liver transplant), and I had the means to hasten the transplant to prevent my own death, I'd do it. Would it be selfish and possibly immoral? Probably. Would it be completely understandable? I think so, and I think most people who say they'd be the noble ones and just sit on their fat wallets, dying of liver failure, are just fooling themselves. Liver failure is a pretty terrible way to go, and if I knew that there was a way to avoid that particular fate, I'd take it.