Anthony Stokes, 15, Denied Heart Transplant: Debate

By Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac is an editor and reporter who has worked on a variety of topics over the course of her ten years with The Epoch Times, including science, the environment, and local New York news. She is currently working with The Epoch Times edition based in Southern California.
August 13, 2013 Updated: August 13, 2013

Anthony Stokes, 15, has been denied a life-saving heart transplant due to a history of noncompliance; he had low grades and trouble with the law, according to a Medical Daily report published Monday.

Doctors told his mother, Melencia Hamilton, they could not be sure he would take his medicine or go to his follow-ups, Hamilton told WSBTV.

“They’ve given him a death sentence,” Christine Young Brown, president of the Newton Rockdale County Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), told WSBTV.

The boy has less than six months left to live, the doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston told him, according to Medical Daily. He has an enlarged heart.

Facebook user Lioness Of Judah Jackson commented along with other users on the Exposing Black Truth page, some of whom thought Stokes at a disadvantage because he is African American: “I saw this on the news this morning & I think this is a … shame that his minor mistakes in life is what they’re focused on. I thought doctors are supposed to save lives no matter what! This is wrong on all levels!”

Adam Strife wrote: “So they will pay for a medical exam of a man that is on death row .. but decide that a boy who has his whole life ahead of him to do good isn’t worth saving because he has poor grades?”

Genia Gouch wrote: “He is a poor candidate for a transplant, because he lives a high risk life. it has more to do with his smoking, drug abuse, and drinking. IT has nothing to do with the color of his skin. Consider this: if i give you my leg…and the next day you go and lay on the train tracks….aw mean…what was it all for. THis is not a black and white issue. This is ethical and understandable policy.”

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta sent a statement on the case to WSBTV: “The well-being of our patients is always our first priority. We are continuing to work with this family and looking at all options regarding this patient’s health care. We follow very specific criteria in determining eligibility for transplant of any kind.”

Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac is an editor and reporter who has worked on a variety of topics over the course of her ten years with The Epoch Times, including science, the environment, and local New York news. She is currently working with The Epoch Times edition based in Southern California.