This is pretty bad…not fair. The man has liver cancer and was within 2 months of receiving a liver when they found this discrepancy! Why didn’t they tell him sooner or advise him about the California laws on this if that was the factor! This is stupid.
Now he has to go through a substance abuse program and not use marijuana for 6 months before he can go back on the list. The man has cancer and what if his conditions doesn’t allow him to live that long, God forbid. It gets worse…when he finishes the 6 months substance abuse and counseling, he goes to the bottom of the list! I hope the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is successful here. I have no idea what using marijuana is like but for goodness sakes this man has cancer and if the hospital doctor prescribed it, why are these rules for the transplant so harsh?? BD
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has denied a liver transplant to a patient with inoperable liver cancer because he uses medical marijuana. But the marijuana was prescribed by the very same hospital, according to the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA).
Sixty-three year-old Norman B. Smith was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2009. His oncologist at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Steven Miles, approved of his medical marijuana use as a means to deal with the effects of chemotherapy and pain from an unrelated back surgery.
In September 2010, Smith became eligible for a liver transplant, but after testing positive for marijuana in February he was removed from the transplant list due to non-compliance with the hospital’s substance abuse contract. Smith was within two months of receiving a transplant before he was de-listed.
He is scheduled to undergo radiation treatments in the next few days.
In a letter sent to Smith in May, the director of Cedars-Sinai’s Liver Transplant Program said that the liver transplant center “must consider issues of substance abuse seriously since it does often play a role in the evolution of diseases that may require transplantation, and may adversely impact a new organ after a transplant.”
But the group noted that studies have found marijuana use did not adversely affect liver transplantation.