I am reposting this from the CBC website. There is a video as well as extensive article about Alice Zhang’s situation. It raises questions about ethnic and ethical factors in organ transplantation.
A couple of things strike me about this article. The first is her contention that her complaints have resulted in a provisional diagnosis of mental illness. Kidney disease is tough and I can well imagine that a person on hemodialysis could sink into a pattern of complaints. They don’t feel well. It’s hard to “maintain an even keel” in circumstances like that. Especially given that it’s going on six years since she went onto the transplant list. It has barely been six months for me. If I’m still waiting for a transplant in 2021, I might be a little more complaining as well. Whether she is mentally ill and therefore incapable of cooperating in her ongoing therapy is an important question to answer, though. It is good that she is having her mental health reviewed.
The second thing is the fact that she has been waiting for six years for a kidney transplant. This is not explored in this article, but what factor does ethnicity and culture play in the availability of a compatible donor for Ms. Zhang, either deceased or living? According to the article “An Overview of Transplantation in Culturally Diverse Regions,” by Gabriel Oniscu and John Forsythe, point out that East Asian immigrants, deeply rooted in the Confucian tradition of respect for the integrity of dead bodies, have lower donation rates.
Please watch the video and read the article. And, since this is an article about a situation in BC, if you are a British Columbia resident, please register as an organ donor here: https://register.transplant.bc.ca/
Alice Zhang says complaining about care got her kicked off B.C. kidney transplant list
‘Difficult’ patient involuntarily committed by psychiatrist and removed from transplant list
By Natalie Clancy, CBC News Posted: Feb 19, 2015 5:00 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 19, 2015 7:33 AM PT
Alice Zhang, a mother who speaks only Cantonese, says she’s being denied a life-saving kidney transplant because doctors at Vancouver General Hospital have decided she is mentally ill.
The 45-year-old and her family say she has no history of mental illness and that she was only removed from the transplant list for complaining about her treatment in the hemodialysis unit.
“That’s what started this whole situation” said Zhang, speaking through an interpreter. She said doctors threatened to admit her involuntarily under the Mental Health Act
“They said if I kept making noise, they would drag me into the mental health ward and diagnose me as having mental illness” which is where she ended up on two occasions.