Protesters demand free organ transplants for illegal immigrants


For over a week now, undocumented immigrants, many on a hunger strike, have gathered outside a prestigious Chicago-area hospital to demand free organ transplants for themselves and others who entered the country illegally.

About 40 demonstrators joined the 14 hunger strikers gathered outside Northwestern Memorial Hospital to protest the facility’s stance on providing organ transplants to immigrants not possessing a green card, according to Fox-32 Chicago.

“We’re asking for help,” said Blanca Gomez, 23, who needs a kidney transplant. “I go to dialysis three times a week. I’m not going off the hunger strike until I get on the transplant list.”

None of the hunger strikers are U.S. citizens or even documented immigrants. All are from Mexico and require either a liver or kidney transplant that they can’t afford on their own, and they’re unable to obtain federal health care benefits such as Medicaid.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is a teaching facility connected to Northwestern University, and is one of the few medical centers in the Chicagoland area to offer live donor liver transplants.

In 2012, Northwestern Memorial Hospital was named Illinois’ number one hospital by by U.S. News & World Report in 13 medical specialties. It also received 11 other prestigious awards in 2012 according to its website.

The situation represents an ethical dilemma, according to Dr. David Ansell, chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center.

“On the one hand, the intent of the national transplant registry is to base transplants on who needs them most, but there are indeed a whole group of people who find themselves shut out,” he said. “And these are people who are uninsurable, and it creates an ethical dilemma of doing the right thing against the extreme cost of doing a transplant.”

Northwestern officials said in a statement released late Monday that prospective candidates for organ transplantation are evaluated “against a rigorous set of standards” and that “U.S. citizenship is not among them.” The statement read:

“Our multidisciplinary teams of clinicians and social workers review a host of determining factors that might forecast an individual’s chances for a successful surgery as well as their means for long-term stability with a transplanted organ.”

The statement continued:

“Our processes follow policies compliant with federal regulations. … We believe such careful and meticulous standards ensure fair and equitable evaluation of everyone seeking transplant and allow us to ensure the greatest opportunities for viability of patients with donated organs.”

In a Chicago Sun-Times report, Ansell noted that uninsured people account for 20 percent of the organs donated in this country, while only one percent of the people who receive organ transplants are uninsured.

Osbeidy Rivera, the sister of a Mexican immigrant who needs a kidney, and who is both undocumented and uninsured claims those statistics are unfair.

“If you’re not a citizen, you could still donate,” she told Chicago’s NBC channel 5. “But when it comes to people who don’t have documents, they don’t want to help them. It’s sad.”


  • Guest

    If they want a free transplant let them go back to their home country and get it, its bad enough that the taxpayers are paying for those deadbeats other health issues

  • Cheree Cher

    Big Gov already takes an arm and a leg in taxes. Now illegals want what’s left of me? I’d say, “Over my dead body!” but that seems to be their goal!

  • Ajean72

    I thought there was a black market where they can put all those hearts, lungs and kidneys in their shopping carts?

  • Ron Bauerle

    Where,s the free organ transplants for American citizens? I,d like a lung or two myself

  • Chris Horner

    I’m sure the AIDS clinics have plenty of available organs for freeloaders

    • Caniac Steve Henderson

      pleaze don’t insult the aids patients …:D

  • Kathy Feathers

    OHHHHH, GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!! This makes me soooo mad! I have paid my taxes and worked all of my life, saved to put my kids through college with one adult child who is 27 and still can’t find a job in his field (and he was also on the Dean’s list!!!) He works at a low paying job but can’t get health insurance AND is a Juvenile Diabetic….NO ONE IS PAYING FOR HIS INSULIN, DIABETIC SUPPLIES, ETC. It’s time to wake up America and take OUR country back!!!!!

  • Caniac Steve Henderson

    first it was drivers licenses,in state college tuition or be allowed to go to college,then it was to be & remain here unmolested with work permits thanks to the president & the morton memo ..and now this ?? Oh please give me a break

  • amuncat

    As with legal and illegal, “immigrants,” they are getting access to transplants mixed up with getting it for free!
    Oh, yeah,let me be the first to chant, “undocumented and uninsured!” Remember, and don’t forget, Obama promised that Obamacare would not fund illegal aliens…that day!
    Watch, they have strong armed states into giving them in state tuition, even though Americans can’t do this, nor can our military in most cases. I can see it now, they demanding subsidized health care because it is good for the nation.
    Oh, a joke. California has based its health program on the “young and healthy latino population to apply for health care to shore up the rest of it. Problema: Young vital and healthy latinos are not signing up for it!!! Have we forgotten that illegal aliens have the best most immediate care in the nation, EMERGENCY ROOMS? The young latino population has a problem with signing up for things. I understand that they had predicted that several million would apply for DACA. So far, barely 500K….with an over 90% approval! Of course!

  • trayvon nesterwinkle

    Simple solution……Go back to Mexico and get on their transplant list. These clown are undocumented and stupid.

  • Misty Santos

    Since The Citizens here can’t even protest, why are they allowed?! And why don’t they go to their country and protest to their government to pay for their medical needs, since ours for our own citizens aren’t even being met?! We are not responsible for paying for these people or their medical needs! Why are they not shipped back to their country????!!!!

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