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Transplant Surgeon Called Dibs On Steve Jobs' Home 291

Posted by timothy
from the so-are-you-an-organ-donor? dept.
theodp writes "The Commercial Appeal reports that Dr. James Eason, the surgeon who performed Steve Jobs' liver transplant, found himself grilled at length Monday by Shelby County Commission members. The Univ. of Tennessee-Methodist Transplant Institute, which Eason heads, is in a bitter dispute over the distribution of human organs. Pressed for details by Commissioners West Bunker and Terry Roland about the 2009 liver transplant that Eason performed on the late Steve Jobs, Eason acknowledged that he's now living in the Memphis home that Jobs used during his convalescence. Bunker asked, "Was that a deal cut to get him a transplant here locally?" Eason: "I understand. It's a fair question. Absolutely not." Eason said a company lined up the housing for Jobs. "I took care of him and visited him in that home. And when I learned that it was going to be going on the market, I asked him, I asked the administrator of the LLC, if I could purchase it." So, is it time for Apple to shed some light on The Mystery of Steve Jobs' Memphis Mansion? It was reported that Apple lawyer George Riley, reportedly a friend of Eason's, helped Jobs with the arrangements for the Memphis mansion, which was acquired at a bargain price of $850,000 from the State of Tennessee by the mysterious LCHG, LLC on 3/26/2009. LCHG was formed on 3/17/2009, apparently just days before Jobs received his liver (on 3/21/2010, Jobs noted he was coming up on the 1-year anniversary of his transplant). Records show that title to the mansion was transferred to Eason in May, 2011, about three months after the National Enquirer painted a grim picture of Jobs' health. LCHG, LLC was dissolved in February 2012."
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Transplant Surgeon Called Dibs On Steve Jobs' Home

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  • No idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mynamestolen (2566945) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:54AM (#40452417)
    Badly written article. I have no idea what it means.
    • Re:No idea (Score:4, Informative)

      by kestasjk (933987) * on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:03AM (#40452513) Homepage
      The guy who did Jobs' liver transplant got Jobs' house at a great price just before the transplant went through, via a shell company.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Mimfort (1440441)
      It means not only did Jobs buy his way to the head of the transplant line in a state he had never lived in, but his trust sold the house to the doctor who performed the transplant. Legal, perhaps, but morally bankrupt. Jobs was a bad man.
      • Re:No idea (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:11AM (#40452627) Homepage Journal
        Not only that, he wasted a liver that could have been used for a lifetime by a person who should have gotten it
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by SethJohnson (112166)

          Not only that, he wasted a liver that could have been used for a lifetime by a person who should have gotten it

          Most assuredly, this liver was used for a lifetime by Steve Jobs.

          Seth

          • Re:No idea (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Artifakt (700173) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @12:13PM (#40453473)

            Jobs was a known bad transplant risk (for cancer that had already spread to multiple organs, a common reason to take a person off the lists entirely), and that liver only bought him a couple of years, if that. There are plenty of people who gain 20 or 30 healthy productive years from a liver transplant - in fact the best estimate currently for how long a transplant patient will live if they make it through the first few months when organ rejection is likely is now averaging 30 years. So yes, Jobs got a lifetime like anyone else, but not all lifetimes are (re)created equal.

      • Re:No idea (Score:5, Informative)

        by Sir_Sri (199544) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:32AM (#40452931)

        depends on whether or not he sold the home at market rates or reasonably close thereto.

        Just because it's a mansion doesn't mean it's actually worth a lot. We just had a friend of the family die who owned a property with 3 buildings on it, where similar properties down the street were going in the 2-2.5 million range, the one in question got just under 500k. Because as it turns out, no one had updated the electrical system since the switchover from 25 to 60 Hz power, and 75 years of bats living in ceilings doesn't do buildings any favours. Who knew?

        If you read the TFA's (and god are there a lot of them) the house was, pre 2008, appraised at between 1.3 and 1.4 million. And was the mansion for the university chancellor. Jobs bought it for 850k. Which, considering memphis has seen year over year price drops of easily double digits wouldn't be a huge shock. (http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Tennessee/Memphis-heat_map/). Also keep in mind that the Steve jobs LLC probably paid cash.

        From TFA, Eason paid 850K, which is the same as the LLC paid, I think.

        So what I would read into this is that housing prices for Million plus dollar homes in memphis crashed by 40% from 2008 to 2009, or at least expensive house prices crashed, and then there was the specific house in question, which, having been a chancellors mansion for the university might have only a limited clientèle of people who would actually want it. (Location maybe? I've never been to TN let alone memphis so the address means nothing to me).

        So sure, Steve probably got himself a deal from the government who were and are desperate for money on a house that wasn't going up in value any time soon. Whether or not it was actually an unfair deal is much harder to say. When housing prices are falling expect to get less than you were asking, and less than you appraised for.

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        I agree it wasn't right. That said, I hope you're never in such a desperate situation where you're dying and grabbing at anything to live. I wonder if you'd live up to your own high standards? I like to think I'd refuse to take advantage but having never been there I can't say. It's easy to Judge when you haven't been there.

      • by vlm (69642)

        Legal, perhaps, but morally bankrupt. Jobs was a bad man.

        It boils down to a question of is medicine a for profit industry or not. A major political question only in the USA. Regardless of what it "should" be, for profit or socialized, medicine clearly currently is a for-profit industry, here, at this time, so what he did obviously perfectly fits our moral code and obviously did not make him a bad man. He may have been immoral or bad in general or for other reasons, but merely participating in our healthcare system is not going to have an effect on his moral st

  • by amoeba1911 (978485) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:57AM (#40452447) Homepage
    Let's just say Dr. James Eason was moved by Steve Jobs.... TO A BIGGER HOUSE!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Clearly LCHG means "Livers Can't Hinder Greatness" - he wanted limited liability for his failing organ.

  • I got Woz's house..... called it.

    Dibs, called it again.

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:05AM (#40452553)

    Ok, so. It's a gossip piece, but it belongs on Slashdot's homepage because it involves Steve Jobs in a semi-tangential sort of way? Right, OK.

    It is extremely common for people who happen to know another person to be cut a nice deal when selling property. In fact, I might even say that is normal. Jobs knew a guy, guy wanted to buy his house, Jobs sold it to him, end of story NO ONE GIVES A SHIT.

    I'm not even sure what the summary is implying, and I really don't feel it is worth taking the time to find out. This isn't even "news", it's just sensationalistic crap (I'm assuming, I only skimmed the summary).

    • The implication is that Jobs found a doctor and said "Hey, want a nice house? How's about giving me a little bump up that transplant list, eh?" Corruption in medicine, playing with people's lives, and such. From TFS, it doesn't appear to be backed up by much more than some coincidental and very fortuitous timing, but it's a nice conspiracy theory.
      • by Daetrin (576516)
        Jobs certainly did seem to get his transplant rather quickly (although admittedly i'm more familiar with kidney transplants, where the wait can be up to seven years depending on where you live.) But i'm sure there are numerous ways to shorten the wait if you happen to be incredibly rich, most of them easier and more circumspect than bribing your doctor with cheap real estate.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      You might feel different if your kid was waiting in line for an organ they needed to survive a lifetime, and it appeared rich dudes were cutting in line to get just a couple extra years.
      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        But, correct me if I'm wrong, there is zero evidence that happened, correct? Only innuendo and "questions"?

        Maybe it's also time for Apple to answer the question of whether or not Steve Jobs liked to rape chickens? I'm not saying he did, mind you, I just think the question should be asked.*

        *Note: I'm not actually asking the question, because it's stupid. Just like this story. The only point in "asking" a question like this, without actual evidence, is to incite outrage. Nothing more. I'm sure someone on the

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Well the thing is, this isn't about jobs. I fully expect someone with as much money as him to want to do whatever is in his power to get himself a replacement liver....even breaking the law. I dunno about you, but I put my own health above the law and if some law was standing in the way of what I saw as something that would allow me to live longer or live normally longer, guess what, I would probably do it too.

      Thats why, the rules are not for the patients, they are for the doctors, the people who make the d

      • by arth1 (260657)

        I dunno about you, but I put my own health above the law and if some law was standing in the way of what I saw as something that would allow me to live longer or live normally longer, guess what, I would probably do it too.

        The law is largely irrelevant, but I put honour above my health. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I received a transplant that someone else needed more.

  • First they kill Michael Jackson, then they kill Steve Jobs. And they charge a month's salary to see them for 10 minutes.

    We have to get rid of these doctors from society, what good do they do?

    • First they kill Michael Jackson, then they kill Steve Jobs. And they charge a month's salary to see them for 10 minutes.

      We have to get rid of these doctors from society, what good do they do?

      Roll up your sleeves and bend over.

      You're about to find out ....

  • Seriously who DOES care? Odds are whatever happened wasn't illegal as it would have came out.

  • Unfortunatelly /. is missing a moderation option for the articles themselves.

  • Exactly. This isn't even tabloid level news.

    Here's a clue for those who don't understand how LLCs work or why people use them: This kind of thing is done every. single. day. Rich people form LLCs and trusts to move and shelter assets and to avoid taxes. Not-so-rich people do it, too, because it's a good vehicle for keeping business costs outside personal finances. Something almost exactly like this happens all the time with everyone from the small profitable restaurant owner up through corporate middle mana

  • by trout007 (975317) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:20AM (#40452761)

    This is the type of stuff that always happens when there is a prohibition on something. It makes the gatekeepers so powerful that people will use whatever means necessary to influence them.

    Acknowledging that people own their bodies would allow them to sell parts of their bodies. Those that can be harvested while they are alive like bone marrow, kidneys, parts of the liver, would be pretty straight forward. Those that are harvested after death might involve getting a deal on life insurance if you transfer ownership of your organs to the insurance company after death, or you could will them to a family member.

    This would make organs so readily available that no black market would exist.

    • Except that allowing a market in organs would make the suspected problem here the norm. But much worse things would happen - witness the lack of respect for life amongst the Mexican drug cartels and their ilk, and imagine what would happen if they could get tens of thousands of dollars for a person's organs.
    • There are a few reasons for a market prohibition. The first and foremost is that it coerces the poor. Imagine someone in extreme poverty: he'll no doubt sell one of his kidneys (IIRC, it's the most required organ), permanently impairing himself.

      A more reasonable way is to make organ donation compulsory after death and/or live transplants only from family members older than, say, 35.

  • With fava beans and a nice Chianti?

  • by rpresser (610529)

    It's amazing. Just when I think Slashdot can't possibly find a subject I'm less interested in than Orbitz's decisions about what to promote to Mac users ... it does.

  • I wondered why Tennessee. Is Tennessee the first place you would go to get extremely high-risk major surgery?

    This article explains the process a bit better and how it helps to have money. That is, he did beat the system by shopping around, but he did not have to bribe anyone to get to the top of the list.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-steve-jobs-got-sick-2010-04 [businessinsider.com]

    • by Cpt_Kirks (37296)

      Actually Tennessee, and Memphis in particular, has some of the finest hospitals in the world. The UT system, St. Judes, etc.

      Nashville, too.

  • by Stickerboy (61554) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @12:17PM (#40453517) Homepage

    While on the outside the situation has the appearance that there could have been impropriety, the appropriate thing of course is to look at the hard evidence.

    Giving a sweet deal on real estate to a friend and doctor for excellent medical care is not illegal. (While I haven't received a house, I get homemade baked goods all the time.) Giving a sweet deal on real estate to a friend as a kickback for being pushed up the transplant list is highly unethical. But there's an easy way to find out: have the state medical review board take a peek at the transplant waiting list records over the time period. If Steve Jobs mysteriously moves up the list for no good medical reason, or is listed in front of other patients with more pressing need or waiting time, then you have your smoking gun. Otherwise, if everything is appropriate with the transplant waiting list, then it sounds like the system worked as designed.

  • Here's the house in question: http://binged.it/OqU6VF [binged.it]

    It sold in 2005 for $1.325M
    And then in 2009 for $850K to LCHG
    And then for $850K in 2011 to James Eason.

    It's last appraisal was $1.28M

    $500K off the original price seems a little steep. The housing market didn't crash nearly that bad around here. Maybe a 20% drop but that'd be about it.

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