Here’s one for your daily dose of bitter gall:
SNAFU-ed …. Situation Normal: Medical Marijuana User Dies After Being Denied Transplant
Timothy Garon, 56, died Thursday at Bailey-Boushay House, an intensive care nursing center. He was denied a spot on the transplant list primarily because he used medical marijuana to ease the symptoms of hepatitis-C.
The author of SNAFU-ed (I couldn’t find a name anywhere) says it’s not likely that anything will happen to change the federal regulation that prevented Mr. Garon from getting a liver transplant until such time as a major politician or his or her family member is in the same situation as Mr. Garon.
It probably will take just that sort of leverage to get any legislation passed that would rectify the situation, but here’s an idea for preventing similar situatio when legislators do get around to it: incorporate into all such regulatory legislation an override provision. I’ll call it a Humanitarian Reasonable Override. Or maybe it should just be called the Garon Provision. It could be defined in such a way as to deter abuse of the provision by incorporating, of all things, significant penalties for abuse. It could also require the concurrence of two or three persons of a particular authority level. I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have been difficult to find two bureaucrats with enough authority to enact such a provision on Mr. Garon’s behalf, had it been available.
The advantage of a Humanitarian Override, rather than a tweak in the regulations that removes “medical marijuana,” is that it would leave room for other factors which can’t be foreseen at present–just as medical marijuana was likely unforeseen when the current regulation was put in place. It’s that sort of adjustment to bureaucratic regulations that permit the exercise of professional bureaucracy, and gets rid of elements of machine bureaucracy that just muck up the works and cost lives.
I don’t know any more about Mr. Garon’s case than is in the SNAFU-ed post cited. It’s quite possible that an override of the federal regulation wouldn’t have done him any good, if a matching liver were still not available. But here’s to his life and his death helping to tip the balance in a direction that will help many others down the road.