"Seventeen year old Jasmine Smith had worked hard to overcome mental disabilities caused by brain trauma she suffered as a baby. She won several awards at her school for her achievements. This was a girl with something to offer the world. But now she is dead. She was denied the heart transplant that would have saved her life by an organ transplant center due to what it terms ‘psychosocial considerations’. Jasmine Smith was denied her heart transplant because she was disabled.
KTVU News was approached by the family of Jasmine Smith, after they became concerned by the language used by doctors at Oakland Children’s Hospital in their notice of refusal. Here is the KTVU report:
Jasmine was flown to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, but after days of tests, the transplant doctors there said she would not be getting a heart.
The hospital’s letter described Jasmine as “currently too well, and having ongoing psychosocial considerations.” Those psychosocial considerations were not explained in the letter.
The family says doctors at Stanford told them Jasmine could be treated with medication and rehabilitation at Oakland Children’s Hospital.
However, Jasmine’s grandmother began worrying when the teen continued getting worse. Cardiologists in Oakland once again said she needed a transplant.
“Stanford said no, but UCLA said yes,” said Thomas.
UCLA flew Jasmine to its center, but after six weeks in that hospital, hope faded again.
“They tell me, ‘Well, we decided that we’re not going to give Jasmine a heart, nor can she have the device because of her disability. Her intellectual disability,’” Thomas said.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some 3,738 hundred patients are on the heart transplant wait list. That outnumbers the nation’s limited supply of donor hearts.
2 Investigates learned that the criteria for who gets put on that wait list can be very subjective."