Teenager Denied Heart Transplant Over History Of ‘Noncompliance’ And Trouble With The Law

Source:  Sydney Lupkin / ABC News

A Georgia teenager needs a lifesaving heart transplant, but his family says low grades and trouble with the law have kept him off the transplant list.

Doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston told the family of 15-year-old Anthony Stokes that they won’t put him on the transplant list because of his history of “noncompliance,” according to ABC’s Atlanta affiliate WSBTV.

“They said they don’t have any evidence that he would take his medicine or that he would go to his follow-ups,” Melencia Hamilton, Anthony’s mother, told WSBTV.

Anthony has an enlarged heart and has been given six months to live, according to WSBTV.

To read this article in its entirety visit ABC News.

  • Mercedes Simpson

    How in the world is this lawful? By the time his mother sees a judge that 6mths that “man” gave him to live will be here and gone. Prayerfully, God will see to it that this young man gets the heart he needs to live a long prosperous life. Those people that told his mom that should be ashamed of themselves- he’s still a kid, geez. Do they have kids of their own or kids in their familes??? So sad

    • Amber RN

      It’s lawful because noncompliance is a huge issue with transplantees. They have to take numerous meds to prevent rejection and must have follow up care! It’s sad because he is a teen. But why risk a heart that could save someone’s life on someone who may waste it? There is so much need – it deserves to go to the person that will take care of it and live a long healthy life.

      • Mswinsome07

        Where are the parents who are responsible for ensuring his compliance. Amber RN is right, compliance is important as there are healthcare
        directives/instructions and adherence to rules/guidelines as a
        prospective transplant recipient. If he is non-compliant after several warnings…
        then he will be removed from the list.. It appears that now his situation is dire the “adults” are making his
        behavior problems an issue. They need to bear some responsibility for this sad situation..

        • Alice Wheeler

          I am sorry this child is going through this, but non-compliance is a very big deal with a transplant patient. My brother, at 43 years old, was almost denied the liver he needed to live because of where he lived! He lived in a fairly large town, where marijuana is prevalent. He had to do a lot of talking, begging, and make a lot of promises to finally be put on the list. Spare me the facts that say marijuana is harmless, they don’t matter. What matters is the transplant team at the hospital had to be convinced that he would never, ever, partake again! My brother had his transplant, and has survived 6 years, thank God. My son on the other hand, couldn’t even be considered for a liver transplant, until he had been sober for 6 months. We made it 6 weeks, could never get to that magic 6 months! He died of bleeding to death, he ruptered his spleen. No liver for him. My son was 35 years old.

      • Kevin

        I agree Amber this story will get traction but it shouldn’t really people need to think. I know it sounds sad story but if he has no history of doing right what makes them think he will after he gets it.

    • Success&Vodka

      This article terribly written. I don’t consider myself high-brow when it comes to my understanding of journalism, but this article is lacking a lot of information! The FAMILY says “low grades and trouble with the law kept him off the transplant list”. That is their understanding of it but doctors take a hippocratic oath. They could care less about low grades and trouble with the law.
      Doctors said it was because of his “history of noncompliance”. This seems more reasonable to me. Noncompliance is when a person does not take their medications or follow medical treatment as instructed.

      To someone who doesn’t understand the medical definition of noncompliance this article makes it seem like noncompliance is something wildly different related to their moral behavior.

      Noncompliance is a valid reason for not putting someone on a transplant list. The body’s initial reaction will be to reject any new organ its given. If he doesnt take the medication he’s prescribed he will be dead in weeks. Given the ratio of donors to patients awaiting transplants this is a very legitimate concern for doctors to have.

      • commonsense1113

        You’re absolutely right. And at 15, it was his parents’ responsibility to ensure that their child COMPLIED with his doctors orders in reference to his health care. People can’t scream DISCRIMINATION every time something doesn’t go their way. This had nothing to do with his grades, or social conduct. He wouldn’t comply with his doctor’s orders and that’s what got him dropped from the list. There are hundreds of other people, kids and adults waiting for a heart that they’ll be grateful for and take care of.

      • Shawnna Ramsey

        This is curated content. It’s summarized and linked to the original posting. A lot of media outlets curate content these days.

  • Diego Deleon

    Where’s Sharpton and Jackson???????? Now this is a true cause…what are they gonna wait for this child to die so they can have marches????

  • NuBN247

    This is what I mean when I tell others that blacks are discriminated against in every facet of human endeavor. Compare the outpouring for the little white girl who needed a liver and this. I remember an alcoholic baseball player being given a liver transplant although there was no evidence he would stop drinking so what’s the difference?

  • Dawn Bsnbound Anderson

    This is sad but i do agree with the decision NOT to place him on the list

  • Sweety

    This is wrong on so many levels. The hospital does have a right to deny care, however, it is still an issue of ethics. I can see if they know he didn’t comply and go to previous appointments. Maybe they should try pre-treatment counseling. But to deny care is unethical and absurd.

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