Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How do we handle a problem like this one?

This is a problem that was raised by Nicolas Kristof in the New York Times.

Mr. Waddington has polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, a genetic disorder that leads to kidney failure. First he lost one kidney, and then the other…. Doctors explained that the best match — the one least likely to be rejected — would perhaps come from Travis or Michael, his two sons, then ages 29 and 27.

Travis and Michael each had a 50 percent chance of inheriting PKD. And if pre-donation testing revealed that one of them had the disorder, that brother might never be able to get health insurance. As a result, their doctors had advised not getting tested…. “At the time David needed a transplant, the people closest to him couldn’t even offer a lifesaving donation — for insurance reasons,” said Mr. Waddington’s wife, Susan.

John Goodman at NCPA blogged this, saying:

I’d love to know what the opponents of health reform think families like this should do.

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