Immigration debate hits home for liver transplant patients
Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2008
The average cost of a liver transplant and first-year follow-up is nearly $490,000, and anti-rejection medications can run more than $30,000 annually, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Donor livers are also in scarce supply. In California, nearly 3,700 people are on a waiting list for livers, and in 2007 767 liver transplants were performed in the state. More than 90% of the organs were given to U.S. citizens. A recent case in California highlighted some controversial issues: Should illegal immigrants receive liver transplants in the U.S. and should taxpayers pick up the cost?