Lyndsey’s Lungs

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), which is Great Britain’s government health care system was established to “release…the population from fear of the risks and costs of care.” For more than fifty years NHS has provided “free and fair” health coverage to the British.

However, while government altruism claims to have the public’s best interest in mind oftentimes the result of central control over any decision, let alone health care, can be fatal.

Take for instance the young woman suffering from cystic fibrosis who died after undergoing a “life saving” lung transplant. The reason? Twenty-eight year old, Lyndsey Scott of Manchester England received the lungs of a person who started smoking before Miss Scott was born.

Transplanting smoker’s lungs into the chest of a cystic fibrosis patient is like placing the heart of a myocardial infarction victim, whose heart damage came from eating Quarter pounders with cheese, into the chest of a 12-year old suffering from cardiomyopathy.

Cystic fibrosis is a debilitating disease that clogs the lungs and digestive tract with gluey mucus making it nearly impossible to breathe. In Lyndsey’s case, a health care central bureaucrat somewhere in the system decided smoker’s lungs were an adequate replacement for a candidate awaiting a double lung transplant.

No big deal, Lyndsey Scott’s breathing was never normal to begin with. What’s a little black tar and nicotine when kindergarten paste already lines your lungs?

Lyndsey’s death from pneumonia left her family pondering why an avid anti-smoker waited four years to be put through the trauma of a double lung transplant only to awaken with another substandard set of ailing lungs?

Lyndsey’s family is also questioning why the NHS never told their daughter she would be the recipient of smoker’s lungs. Lungs Lyndsey, if presented with the option, would have refused.

Lyndsey Scott’s story typifies how government defines “free and fair.” In addition, stringent bureaucratic guidelines often enforce negative criteria upon very ill people. The University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Trust said, “It followed national guidelines. Patients were only told about specific health risks associated with an organ, for example if the donor had taken drugs.”

Carcinogens and lung damage do not fall under the category of “drugs?”

In addition, an organ donor shortage forces transplant surgeons to use an “increasing number of less healthy organs.” Lyndsey should have been grateful, a diseased organ is better than no organ. Right?

“I understand there is no such thing as a perfect organ,” said Mr. Scott. Lyndsey Scott’s devastated father and mother also understand there is an organ shortage, but want to know why donor recipients aren’t made aware of the condition of the organs before surgery.

It stands to reason a person with Hepatitis B might forgo the transplant if the liver designated to save their life is riddled with sclerosis.

The hospital said Miss Scott wasn’t told she was about to be awarded the lungs of a lifetime smoker because surgeon’s didn’t want to burden the woman with added stress. NHS doctors were protecting Lyndsey as they instead scrubbed up, removed her lungs and replaced them with a set that would kill her in less than six months.

All for free!

A couple of weeks prior to her death, Lyndsey said, “I wished I’d not gone through with it,” words her family claim “have really come home to haunt them.”

The deceased woman’s poignant words should echo in the ears of all Americans as our nation stands ready to implement a similar socialized health care system run by an equally inept federal government.

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