The sad case of botched transplant patient Jésica Santillán raises many troubling issues.
A family of illegal aliens makes their way into our country, to obtain a medical miracle for their sick teenage daughter. But the miracle does not play out, and their daughter dies. What is the law? On the one hand, the law is seemingly not in effect, as our borders are deliberately violated with no penalty. On the other hand, her family and its team of slimy plaintiff’s lawyers will take full advantage of the liberal tort system in the South.
Indeed, attorney Kurt Dixon is appealing to Congress not to pass legislation that would cap damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. “They want to limit pain-and-suffering damages and that really would not be a good thing for the public in general,” he said. “This case that I’m dealing with now makes that clear.” According to the tortured logic of this brood of vipers, increasing insurance premiums that would drive up the cost of health care, and discouraging difficult procedures, would somehow help the public. Of course, the medical profession could do a whole lot more in terms of getting rid of the bad apples, but that applies in spades to the members of the Bar.
Philosophers define the natural law as a system of right or justice to be common to all humans, derived from nature, rather than from the rules of society or positive law. But, to what extent does natural law trump Federal immigration law? Many voices condemned the state and local Jim Crow ordinances of the South, claiming that a higher power, as well as a higher (Federal) law took precedence. What happened? Does the natural law now mean that any person from anywhere in the world with a serious enough medical condition is welcomed at any time? Should the phenomenal goodwill of the American people facilitate the scores of corrupt regimes victimizing billions of people? Would it not be truer charity to put our considerable diplomatic pressure on countries like Mexico to better care for their own?
What about medical ethics? Giving a transplant of the wrong blood type is an inconceivable mistake, similar to embarking on a transatlantic flight with insufficient fuel. Duke University Medical Center maintains that it was proper to give Jésica a second transplant even though a brain scan had detected some “bleeding and an area of injured brain” on the day before the second transplant. Were the doctors trying to do something unrealistically heroic to make up for the damnable hubris involved in the first operation? The death of any child is tragic, so where does that leave the fate of others who may have also died since scarce resources were not properly stewarded, not to mention 40 million victims of legal abortion?
And then there’s the dark side of medical ethics—finance. A foundation was started to cover the tab for Jésica’s extraordinary treatment, but it will never raise enough money to pay the bills, unless they are reduced as part of a litigation settlement, or simply for PR reasons. How does that square with the plight of American citizens with health insurance who might still be denied certain treatment, since it is not covered?
Finally, it should be mentioned, not that it would even raise an eyebrow these days, that Jésica’s parents are not married.
In Hinduism and Buddhism, karma is defined as the sum total of the ethical consequences of a person’s good or bad actions comprising thoughts, words, and deeds that determines his specific destiny in his next existence. Viewed in a Judeo-Christian context, it has been expressed that one cannot achieve a good end via bad means. Perhaps, a disharmony is created that cannot be overcome.
With unmarried parents and an ill daughter entering the country illegally, represented by sleazy lawyers, to get an operation performed by an unspeakably prideful surgeon, who then tries it a second time, possibly violating waiting lists and medical standards, the karmic burden was insurmountable.
For Jésica Santillán and all the other dead children…
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis. [Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.]