(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN

 

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering from heart transplant surgery.

His family says it’s forever grateful for the donor — but — at 71-years-old — many are asking: Was the former veep too old for the procedure?

CBS: “There are some critics asking if he should get a transplant at this age or if he got preferential treatment.”

NBC: “This has raised a lot of ethical questions, moral questions, about whether the vice president, in fact, should have received his heart ahead of other people.”
 

But most experts don’t suspect preferential treatment.

Cheney was on the waiting list for a heart transplant for 20 months — which doctors say is a good deal longer than the average wait time of six months to a year.

ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser estimates the procedure could add more than seven years to the former vice president’s life — and that many doctors don’t consider age the primary factor.

DR. RICHARD BESSER: “It used to be age 55 was the cut-off. Anything above that and you wouldn’t get transplanted. Now they look at person as a whole, if there’s no kidney disease, there haven’t been any strokes. If they’re in good health, age is no longer a barrier.”

Cheney has had five heart attacks. Two years ago he got a mechanical heart pump that has helped keep him alive. Still — a doctor at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute tells CBS he was largely healthy outside of his heart condition.

“Most of his problems were related to his heart. He had bypass surgery, angioplasty and so forth. When you get a heart transplant, that gets taken out. … We all follow pretty much the same guidelines...”

And while the identity of the donor isn’t known — a medical director at Indiana’s St. Vincent Heart Center tells Bloomberg:

“Cheney may have received an older heart that would not have been considered for a younger person on the transplant list... The former vice president could also have been the only match for a donated heart, which needs to be implanted within a few hours.”

Speaking to The New York Times — Cheney’s principal cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Reiner said an “otherwise healthy” man of Cheney’s age could live another 10 years with a transplant.

Was Dick Cheney Too Old for a Heart Transplant?

by Christina Hartman
0
Transcript
Mar 26, 2012

Was Dick Cheney Too Old for a Heart Transplant?

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN

 

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering from heart transplant surgery.

His family says it’s forever grateful for the donor — but — at 71-years-old — many are asking: Was the former veep too old for the procedure?

CBS: “There are some critics asking if he should get a transplant at this age or if he got preferential treatment.”

NBC: “This has raised a lot of ethical questions, moral questions, about whether the vice president, in fact, should have received his heart ahead of other people.”
 

But most experts don’t suspect preferential treatment.

Cheney was on the waiting list for a heart transplant for 20 months — which doctors say is a good deal longer than the average wait time of six months to a year.

ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser estimates the procedure could add more than seven years to the former vice president’s life — and that many doctors don’t consider age the primary factor.

DR. RICHARD BESSER: “It used to be age 55 was the cut-off. Anything above that and you wouldn’t get transplanted. Now they look at person as a whole, if there’s no kidney disease, there haven’t been any strokes. If they’re in good health, age is no longer a barrier.”

Cheney has had five heart attacks. Two years ago he got a mechanical heart pump that has helped keep him alive. Still — a doctor at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute tells CBS he was largely healthy outside of his heart condition.

“Most of his problems were related to his heart. He had bypass surgery, angioplasty and so forth. When you get a heart transplant, that gets taken out. … We all follow pretty much the same guidelines...”

And while the identity of the donor isn’t known — a medical director at Indiana’s St. Vincent Heart Center tells Bloomberg:

“Cheney may have received an older heart that would not have been considered for a younger person on the transplant list... The former vice president could also have been the only match for a donated heart, which needs to be implanted within a few hours.”

Speaking to The New York Times — Cheney’s principal cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Reiner said an “otherwise healthy” man of Cheney’s age could live another 10 years with a transplant.

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