A hospital in Tucson, Ariz. confirmed yesterday that a patient who was refused a liver transplant because of state budget cuts has died. A spokeswoman for the hospital said the death was “most likely” due to the de-funding of the transplant, The Arizona Daily Star reported. The patient was the second transplant-seeking Arizona resident to die since state legislators refused to pay the bill for about a hundred organ seekers in October. The cuts are said to save the financially strapped state about $4.5 million a year.
To talk with us about the transplant process in Arizona and across the country, we’re joined by Lynne Coughlin Samson, executive director of NTAF, the National Transplant Assistance Fund in Radnor, Penn. Randy Shepherd also joins us. He’s a former plumber and father of three from Mesa, Ariz. who needs a heart transplant but was removed from the transplant list because of the funding cuts in Arizona. NTAF has assisted him with his fundraising.