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Brigham and Women's won't give man a heart transplant because he won't get Covid-19 shots

WBZ reports the man's family says the vaccine is against his principles the hospital says it's not going to waste a valuable heart on somebody with a greater chance of dying after the surgery.

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Comments

…. has better principals.

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Throwin’ it back to the principles of principals in elementary school.

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I should know the difference by now.

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I appreciate the typos.

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Unreal. Imagine going your whole life being exposed to chemicals, preservatives, cleaners, pesticides, additives, second-hand smoke, cholesterol, sunburns, firearms, FDA approved over-the-counter and prescription medication, fast food, air pollution, cruise ship hot-tubs, bedbugs, dental surgery, unclean salad bars, jet skis, alcohol, caffeine, unsafe drinking water and all the other vaccinations you received to be admitted to school or the military, then add all the usual medical procedures that come with being admitted for a major cardiac problem in a world-class hospital including being subjected to a whole a range of FDA approved injected medications and drug protocols, IV saline drips, blood samples, catheters, and so on...and yet risking your life because any number of these COVID shots from at least 4 major drug manufacturers will do....what to you exactly? Magnetize you?

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Refusing a vaccine but are A-OK with an entire organ from another human being placed in your body.

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..or a pig heart! It's not kosher!

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And the lifetime of powerful, immunosuppressive drugs that keep the transplanted heart working.

But a vaccine? That’s just a bridge too far! /s

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even if one thinks the covid vaccine mite be deadly; in this case, not getting the transplant will be deadly.

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Congrats, DJ! Shoot, we’ll even give it to you while you’re still here to accept it!

(It’s going to be reeeeally awkward when those orphan kids ask why daddy didn’t just get vaccinated so he could see them grow up instead of unnecessarily dying.)

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The whole thing is too sad to be making jokes about, but if he has kids, he's not eligible for a Darwin award.

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He has two with a third child on the way. It is quite literally unbelievable that someone would cling to such principles, choosing death over a life with his family — there are people who would kill for those children and this medical care! I hope that the hospital and this man’s medical team have put ample effort into dissuading him from suicide by vaccine refusal, but you know, I guess that’s his prerogative. And as ghoulish as it is, two years into this pandemic, one year into vaccination — with 200K excess deaths in unvaccinated Americans — I’m fresh out of sympathy and find humor in this man’s chosen situation.

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So it sounds like this guy has a pretty much guaranteed death if he doesn't take the vaccine (from not getting the transplant) and he's literally willing to die on this hill?

Do they think he's going to get sympathy from this media coverage? I'd hope not

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Transplant survivor here. There are more people needing organs out there than there are organs. You have to show you deserve it, that it won’t be wasted on you and cost someone else their chance at life. Everyone gets screened for a whole bunch of things. No insurance to pay for your lifetime of meds? Denied. Not going to give up your self-destructive habit? Denied. No support to help you recover and take care of yourself? Denied. Won’t get your lab tests every couple of weeks while you wait? Back of the line. Too healthy? No transplant, gotta wait. Too sick? Hope you get better. Not too better, just enough better. Even then, you’ve got about a one third chance that you’ll get your chance, depending. And our region of the country, UNOS region 1, is about the hardest place to get an organ.

It’s a competitive game of mortality between you, other patients throughout your transplant region, and the reaper. It sucks. That’s the deal. We aren’t made of interchangeable parts and the fact that transplant works at all is a damn miracle. Fine, you’ve got your principles. You make your choice. And the transplant team will make theirs. It's not politics, it's maximizing the odds of successful transplant. You've got one shot at not dying a horrible crappy death and all you have to do is commit to do your best, to take care of the ultimate precious gift that some poor unfortunate soul is giving up for you. And protecting yourself from a widespread virus in preparation for your post-transplant immunosuppressed state is really about the least you can do. And it ain’t just COVID, either. You need all your vaccinations.

Can’t do that? There’s a line of people behind you begging, begging for the chance to live.

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And you summed the situation up very nicely. In my case, I had to go through almost two years of close monitoring of my care and health routine (they call it compliance), which included weekly blood testing to verify certain parameters and monthly testing to verify others, before I got final approval for inclusion on the transplant list. Even with that, it took me almost seven years before I received my transplant.

Agreeing to a transplant is a very serious commitment. Sad that someone who apparently has done all the right things until now would suddenly throw that all away.

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A step in the right direction.

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You can't do your own research on heart surgery? Maybe somewhere along the line Joe Rogan has interviewed a guy who thinks it's all in the mind or something

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Good. Why waste scarce organs on people unwilling to comply with the generally accepted requirements for a procedure and recommendations of their care team? Ship him off to a hospice and free up that bed for someone who actually values their life and wants to get better.

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Hospice patients are generally facing enough tragedy and sorrow without this defiantly unvaccinated... person worsening their odds even further.

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So this guy will trust the science behind keeping him alive in hopes of having someone else's heart put in his body, but won't trust the science toward vaccines?

Ok, got it.

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I don't call it health care. It's a service, and the hospital refused it. I side with them on this.

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Congrats Adam, you have finally cemeted your page (and commentors) at the rock bottom with this one. Just gross to see your commentors say "good". It's a reflection of the echo chamber you have created in recent years. What was once n unmatched local news source with fun comment thread banter is now a mean, judgemental, rude assemblage of snarky writing, biased politics, and keyboard warrior drivel.

Agree with this person or not, he is a person, husband, and father. He is a human, and you and your squad have managed to take that from him. How ghoulish. He is a human. Shame on you.

Chalk me up as one less uhub supporter, and grossed out fellow Roslindale resident.

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He is a human, and you and your squad have managed to take that from him.

Horseshit. How on earth can anything, much less comments on a website he'll never see, take his humanity from him?

You are hysterical.

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Surely that must include any who helped this misguided human convince himself that this gravely destructive path was the one they should firmly set his sights on, in light of compelling arguments and evidence to the contrary.

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If he dies from not getting the transplant from not getting the vaccine, then he's the one taking his humanity away from himself. Not anyone here.

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This isn't an airport. You don't have to announce your departure.

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You're no exception.

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I was pretty harsh on twitter about this, but I had to explain a bit more my stance.

So first of all, his chance has passed. There's a long list of people waiting for organs who meet every guideline, no need to waste more time on this guy. He's made his decision, and he has to live with it (or in reality, get ready to sunset).

Why am I so harsh? Here's the text of the picture reply (it was too long for a thread) to why:

My mom died in 1994 from leukemia. She had a 99% match in her sister for a bone marrow transplant. BCBS of Vermont said “No, we won’t pay for a smoker to have a transplant” . This would have saved her life, but she didn’t get it, so she died 4 months later.

We begged her for 3 years after her first treatment to quit smoking. After the second treatment in 1993 where she nearly died. We BEGGED her to stop. Her mother, who quit herself but had emphysema, BEGGED her to stop. Her new husband BEGGED her to stop. She did not stop.

When she was denied a transplant, she still did not stop. In fact, she went into a coma on our sofa 3 days before she died with a lit cigarette in her hand. She loved to smoke and smoked until she day she died.

I love & miss my mother dearly and I do not wish her death. But I wish she would have wised up and quit smoking. If her chain smoking mother could, so could have Mom. She might be alive today. But she couldn’t get past her own stubbornness.

And while I feel for this guy’s kids and family because I am sure they were like us.. Begging & pleading for him to just do it. Sometimes its just not enough. People are stubborn.

This is why. I'll repeat this for those in the back.. I miss my mom & I don't wish her death, but I wish she got over her stubbornness. She might be alive today.

This guy might be alive for his kids to graduate high school if he would just get vaccinated. My mom wasn't there for mine. Those poor kids. He needs to get over his stubbornness.

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Wow, thanks for your candid, raw reply: this must dredge up some very troubling memories for you. I’m usually a snarky asshole here, (often pressing up against Adam’s tolerance for said assholedness). I so appreciate you sharing your experience and hope you do have good memories of your mom to carry on and sustain you as we all flail through this shit-show that is Covid. Also. I typically am in concert and general agreement with your posts, and look forward to your future contributions, sir!

- riggs, not logged in (only cause I forgot my damn password, again!)

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In the case of cigarettes and other drugs where there's chemical addiction it makes some sense why someone would be restive to giving it up even if it's the wrong choice and extremely hurtful to those around them.

In the case of vaccine deniers there's not even that chemical connection. It's a religion, a holy war they are willing to risk death for. But there's not even the promise of bliss in the afterlife or a better life for their progeny. The only thing you get is smug satisfaction you're part of some club with no benefits.

It really is baffling that someone can fall into that mental state -- to be willing to sacrifice themselves for television personalities who offer nothing in return.

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The Atlantic just ran an interesting article on that angle.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/human-sacrifice-ritual...

And for more than a year, we’ve had astoundingly effective vaccines that radically reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. All of which means that for a long time now the right’s ongoing propaganda campaign against and organized political resistance to vaccination, among other public-health protocols, has been killing many, many Americans for no reasonable, ethically justifiable social purpose.

In other words, what we’ve experienced certainly since the middle of 2021 is literally ritual human sacrifice on a mass scale—the real thing, comparable to the innumerable ghastly historical versions.

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Right-wing leadership appears all too willing to have their followers poison themselves with a deadly virus. Maybe they get a kick out of demonstrating just how extreme a hold their propaganda has over the deluded fools.

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I feel for his fear ( if it is truly fear and not just a political stance), but my Lord, the gift he just threw away. It makes zero real-world sense. The transplant approval process is no joke. It doesn’t just involve the patient’s stats and need. Viable organs are so rare and in demand that everything has to come into play, including the patient’s lifestyle and their friend/family ties. The last one I knew of personally had relatives fly in across the country to prove their commitment for the lifelong care requirements of the surgery and brought a binder packed with testimonial letters about the patient’s character and pledges of support —all of which was done at the request of the transplant review board.

There is a reason - as macabre as it sounds - why people needing transplants move to states with no helmet laws to increase their chances of getting that life-saving gift (Hi, Florida). I am sorry that has to be the case and highlights the need for more donors, but for now, organs are just too precious to use on someone that won’t do the bare minimum asked by his doctor. And if circumstances were different and he or his family had to make their own awful donor decision, I doubt they would want it to go to someone who may not survive a preventable virus for more than a week or two. They’d be lying if they said it didn’t matter.

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Drug addicts, AIDS patients, alcoholics, smokers, the elderly, fat people, Christian Scientists, Orthodox whatevers, the unvaccinated ... these are groups of people who will be denied transplants and there's nothing wrong or unfair about this. This does not count as "denying treatment". I don't think it's "good" exactly, but it's what we must do.
Of course, it'd be ghoulish to celebrate anyone's denial, especially since most of us end up dying from a fatal case of Tough Titties anyway. So too may this man, it seems.
And yet I hope he miraculously pulls through. Do you?

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He has the right to not take the vaccine and they have the right to deny him a transplant. Full circle moment if you ask me.

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IMAGE(https://i.postimg.cc/C1t0N7Zw/tombstone.jpg)

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Jesus fucking Christ dude

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that is sick and disgusting. the guy has kids. do you want them to see that someday?

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Let him lay in it.

His kids are going to grow up knowing that he volunteered for his own death, that his idea that he shouldn't be vaccinated was stronger than his love for them.

No stupid internet image is going to make that fact worse.

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4chan is leaking again

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It's tasteless, but if you're worrying about his kids seeing it, your worry is misplaced. They will hear some version of the reason why their father died. As young children, all they're likely to hear is something like "Your father was sick and he had a heart problem and that's why he died." If someone is stuffing their heads full of a victim narrative, well, that's unfortunate, and I hope eventually they get something closer to the truth. But the internet is not seeking these kids out to mock their father's death. When they're of an age to understand more, they may seek out or be told a more nuanced version of the truth, and they will understand (as in cybah's account) that the people we love aren't perfect and sometimes make bad decisions.

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I find this offensive and I don’t even know the guy or condone his decision.

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Almost 40 likes; what happened to this place? Ask yourself if you've been radicalized. I'm not cheering anyone's death, but if I ever sink to that level, I'll come back and do it here.

Bye, neighbors.

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I think it's awful. And I think it's awful he's volunteered for it. And I'm sure his whole family, who he has chosen to bereave, think it's awful too.

You want to blame somebody, blame the leaders who put the idea in his head.

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Your manufactured outrage isn't a convincing act.

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Tasteless and offensive.

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I do seriously wish they explained why the family is going public with this. Like, what do they hope to accomplish? It’s a heart he needs, not a kidney. It’s not just Brigham, EVERY transplant center will require patients get vaccinated, so it’s not like they can ask to be transferred somewhere. So what does the appeal to the public do, other than subject himself to justifiable criticism from the rest of us?

I feel awful for his kids.

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Make me absolutely sick. Despite your views on the vaccine, this is a HUMAN BEING with a family that he is likely going to leave behind and you're all dunking on him while he is literally on his deathbed.

Negated from this story is the fact that doctors have told DJ NOT to get the vaccine due to increased risk of heart complications. He is in a lose-lose situation and decided to take a stand. What he is doing takes more balls than anything you trolls have ever done in your pathetic lives.

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Is not the fault of the UH commentariat.

You talk balls, but real balls are acknowledging that answers are in the mirror.

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Fat boomers who demand everyone gets vaccinated in vain hopes that they'll survive the fat plague and eke a few more years of being fat and watching Disney+ are the ones unable to confront mortality.

Fat.

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There’s a strong correlation between being anti-mandate (as you profess) and having really shitty, sociopathic opinions. I’ll file away your comment here as yet another example.

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Sorry, I'll try to raise the discourse back to the level of "photoshopping personalized snarky tombstones for terminally ill strangers"

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Sorry, I'll try to raise the discourse back to the level of "photoshopping personalized snarky tombstones for terminally ill strangers"

Honestly? As tasteless as it was, it'll never be seen by the person it was directed at OR his family (unless some helpful soul like you goes to the trouble of sending it to them, because why?), and as such is probably a cut above your mean-spirited direct attack.

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“ it'll never be seen by the person it was directed at OR his family “

And you know this because you’re, what ….clairvoyant?

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And you know this because you’re, what ….clairvoyant?

I know this because I have a modicum of common sense. You might work on getting some yourself.

This is manufactured outrage. Call the tombstone picture tasteless and disgusting and I won't disagree. But to claim that a comment on a post on an obscure website (sorry, Adam) is a knife to the heart of this man and his family is absolute nonsense.

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Which doctors? It seems to me that the doctors that want to give him a heart transplant, because the one he came with doesn't work good enough anymore, have advised him to get vaccinated, among other instructions typical of those receiving organ transplants.

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… first became available, his doctors may have told him to hold off till they were sure it was safe for him to have it. I’m basing that on what happened to someone I know with a heart condition who had also recently had a bad reaction to the shingles vaccine. Eventually his doctors did recommend he get the vaccine.

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Negated from this story is the fact that doctors have told DJ NOT to get the vaccine due to increased risk of heart complications.

Yeah some proof would go a long way. If this was the case his dad could say “his doctors put him in an impossible situation,” which is a helluva lot more persuasive than “he’s riding his principles into the grave.”

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Negated from this story is the fact that doctors have told DJ NOT to get the vaccine due to increased risk of heart complications.

I have very strong doubts that that is the case. Do you have a credible source for your claim?

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If there is a legitimate medical reason for not getting the vaccine at this time, the interdisciplinary medical team taking care of this gentleman and every other transplant patient would certainly consider it and make an exception if that is advised. This team monitors every variable of entire transplant process from just before the procedure through the exceptionally unpredictable post-transplant period and often through the patient's entire natural life. For at least three months after transplant they own every medical decision that's made for the patient. When, not if, things go squirrelly, they will use the most powerful drugs and procedures in medicine to yank a patient back onto the tracks. There is simply no disconnect between doctors' advice and transplant center vaccination policy.

If somehow there's some unlikely backstory that makes medical sense, the patient and his family need to be consulting every transplant expert in the country and having them talk to the BWH team. Not giving TV interviews, which will do nothing to change the medical facts on the ground. Public pressure and politics don't change medicine.

Absolutely agree that this patient is a human being worthy of compassion and dignity, as are his family and friends. I feel so much for them. I hope he makes the right call, gets a new heart, recovers, and spends years of miraculously uneventful time with all he loves. But there are rules and procedures that are there for extremely good reasons that protect the patient and the extremely valuable organ. He just needs to follow the rules like every other transplant patient does. And if he doesn't, he is being given the dignity of standing by his convictions. They just have consequences.

While I went through the transplant approval process, I saw way too many people who not wouldn't, but couldn't comply with what was asked of them. They were too hooked, too sick, too mentally not there, or just alone and scared. Lose-lose? The hard lives these people have lived is a series of loses, grossly tragic and grossly unfair. I try not to think about what happened to them, I can only hope for a miracle in their lives. Just like I hope for one here. But they needed the real miracle. Here that miracle is a simple choice, it seems.

The irony of the TV interview with his dad is the ending, where he says, "It's his body, his choice." It isn't his body. It's the beating heart from someone who will never see their family again, who gave a piece of their body away in a last act of selflessness and love. It's not a pill. It's a gift, a precious precious gift. Not for a specific person, but for the person with the best chance, the most worthy. You can have it, but there are strings attached. And this is such a small and sensible condition, it simply defies comprehension.

It leads to a bunch of other questions for the transplant team. Will he wear a mask as advised after transplant? Will he take his meds? Will he comply with the precautions and procedures necessary to sustain his health and his heart, or will it be "His body his choice"?

Finally, I acknowledge that we haven't heard publicly from the patient, just his family. We don't know his thoughts directly, But my family wasn't out on the news speaking out about every seeming unfair or arbitrary rule during the transplant selection process. They were doing what I needed them to do to support me.

I deeply deeply hope this story has a good ending. Fate will write it, as it always does.

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"doctors have told DJ NOT to get the vaccine"

Most vets would recommend ivermectin instead, that's true.

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This article says:

Ferguson says his son refuses to get the shot.

Pretty simple.

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Negated from this story is the fact that doctors have told DJ NOT to get the vaccine due to increased risk of heart complications. He is in a lose-lose situation and decided to take a stand.

I'm not sure about about "taking a stand", but I would like to play devil's advocate on a point or two in that first sentence. Not as an expert on hearts, transplants, or vaccines - but as someone who had a front-row seat to watch people and their reactions.

I watched my cousin go through years of deteriorating heart health and eventually a transplant.

In his case, it was years of deterioration, pain, crisis after crisis, progressively weaker, his hospital network (in NY) couldn't do anything about it, last-ditch referrals here to Boston (Tufts). Months and years where the professionals and experts tried every medicine and adjustment before a transplant was really the last hope.
Each time they thought they might have it stabilized - the right combination of meds and tech - was really just the start of a countdown until the next crash. A shorter countdown each time, with more restrictions on activity and trying to eliminate any triggers for destabilizing his system. He was eventually confined to a nursing home for months before his transplant*.
When it's you (or your husband, or your father) that this is happening to - months and years of deterioration and trying to pare away anything "extra" for fear of the next crash - you might be just the teensiest bit leery of adding one thing extra & new to your body.
Especially "one more damn medical thing" if you're not seeing clearly how it relates to the problem at hand.
That is a normal and understandable reaction. Yes, it may not pass muster as seeing the objective reality of "rational" or "settled science" as those of us on the outside of the situation see it, but we live subjectively. Stress and history and fatigue affect how we process things. THAT is part of reality, too.

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You can register as a donor online at any time, or you can do it at the RMV when applying for or renewing your license/state ID.

https://www.donatelife.net

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/learn-more-about-organ-and-tissue-dona...

https://www.mass.gov/how-to/register-as-an-organ-donor-at-the-rmv

Regardless of the facts of this story, any of our thoughts and feelings about the story, or any of the discussion on here or elsewhere, are you a registered organ donor? I am. It costs me nothing if some day I am in the position to donate the organs I'm no longer able to use.

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Keep in mind that actual lives are involved here before you post. And enough with the memes; let's not trivialize the issue further.

Thanks.

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