19 year-old denied a lung transplant on account of smoking pot
An old friend, Riley Hancey was hospitalized days after Thanksgiving for pneumonia. Things took a quick turn for the worst when his lungs filled with fluid and he was put life support at the University of Utah’s critical care center. After almost 70 days in the hospital and his condition didn’t improve, he was put on the lung transplant list, but was almost immediately taken off the list on account of failing a THC drug test. Riley’s family was forced to fly Riley and all of his medical equipment to Pennsylvania to wait for a lung transplant. Thankfully, he recently received new lungs and is on the path to recovery.
The use of marijuana is an extremely controversial topic, especially in the world of health care. It seems as if nobody can make up their mind whether or not marijuana is a good thing for recreational or medical use, including the doctors.
However, one thing is for sure, people are not well informed about laws and rules surrounding transplants and use of drugs in relation to health care in general. If Riley had known he was going to come down with pneumonia, and further develop lung failure (which for somebody his age is a rarity that occurs in only about 3% of pneumonia cases), have to be flown to Pennsyliviia and put his family in years of extreme debt, he might not have made the decisions that he did.
In the coming years, I hope that the medical system will get to a point in which the laws around the use of marijuana is informed to citizens (and legal!!).