Monday, January 07, 2008

John Edwards Disgraces Himself With Regards to Nataline Sarkisyan

The Wall Street Journal just published an article on the Nataline Sarkisyan case and how it has been exploited by presidential candidate John Edwards. I have never endorsed nor rejected a political candidate in this blog. Today, I'm making an exception. I think that Edwards' actions regarding this case are despicable. It is clear that by giving Sarkisyan's family voice at his political rallies, he has accepted the preposterous notion that CIGNA systematically killed their daughter for profit (which they claim).

It's bad enough when this family's lawyer makes such statements to the press. Malpractice attorneys have a rich and colorful history of trying their cases in the media. In law, this is thought of as mounting a "vigorous" advocacy for one's client. Edwards however wishes to be President of the United States.

In my eye, his actions have firmly established his status as a lightweight. Policy differences aside, I for one would never wish for a president with such a simplified world view.

By the way, I was quoted in this article but my title was mangled a bit. I'm sure that UCLA, my employer was quite surprised to find that I was promoted from assistant to associate professor.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following this case from a distance on your blog and others, but I have a question that I don't think has been answered. Basically, even if Cigna had approved the transplant, would she have received one anyways given how sick she clearly was? It is my impression that transplant cases must be reviewed by a committee to decide who gets donated organs. Given a clearly poor prognosis, would a transplant committee even have approved a transplant for somebody who only had a 65% chance to live six months (granted that projection is not really based on any sound evidence, but using it as a best-case guideline)?

January 07, 2008 8:27 AM  
Blogger The Medicine Man said...

Anonymous 8:27 AM,

I was in no way involved in the care of this case but I do believe that this patient was actually approved for the transplant by UCLA and that a liver may have actually been available.

Transplant centers (like UCLA) have a great deal of say in determining where in the list a particular patient may be placed.

Again this information is based only on what I've read in the news.


January 07, 2008 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i also have been fallowing this case very closley. In this case i do not understand how a middle class family living in the area in which they do, and being a very successful real estate agent that she is i can not apporximate how this family could not file for any loans. In her case being in an armenian community with almost over a million living in southern california it should not be that hard to even raise the money. But they still claim that the insurance policy killed their daughter. Im sorry i do not see any sense in this notion. The only thing that killed their daughter was the fatal disease.

January 10, 2008 3:43 PM  

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