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Medicine The Almighty Buck Apple

Transplant Surgeon Called Dibs On Steve Jobs' Home 291

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.
  • 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).

  • Re:No idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:11AM (#40452623)
    Yawn ... no story here. Nothing other than vague insinuations without any substantiations. I suppose people like to get worked up over stuff like this to bring other people down a notch or two. At least in their simple minds.

    When there is some real proof, let us know. 'Cuz I can see a different viewpoint...

    Doctor: Nice place you have here Steve
    Doctor: If you ever decide to get rid of it, let me know. I might be interested in it.
    Steve: You know doc, you've been real good to me. Tell you what, I'll sell it to you for a song to show my appreciation. It's a tough market out there now, and it would be nice to get rid of it.
    Doctor: Wow .. what a great guy you are. Thanks

    I find it interesting that people who always look for the bad in people always seem to find it. Must be a tough life, going around seeing the evil in every little thing while the beauty around you goes unnoticed.
  • Re:This just in... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:12AM (#40452639)
    Let the litany of Jobs worshippers now feast upon all my +1 funnies with -1 overrateds. I suppose had I made a joke about how Apple's iDied product isn't selling so well, or another iSomething joke, it'd be -1000 flamebait and they'd have to call Malda out of retirement to help rewrite the code so it'd be more resistant to having everyone on the internet simultaniously facepalm, lol, and then -1 a single comment. *maniacal laugh* Soon my pretties...
  • Re:No idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:19AM (#40452747)

    I read an article some time ago about this...don't recall where. Steve Jobs' health status was used as a springboard to discuss the issue.

    From what I remember from the article, a person seeking a transplant can be on multiple transplant waiting lists across the US (it's broken up into regions). However, that person would have to be able to travel to any region where an organ became available very quickly once informed. Steve happened to have the means to do so. Not everyone does. If you're wealthy and healthy enough for such travel, you can apply to multiple waiting lists. The list in the Memphis/TN region tended to be shorter than others, thus he got an organ faster than in CA.

    Travel after transplant surgery would likely be a big fat NO. He'd need time to recover and likely want to be near the surgeon and hospital where he got the surgery.

    That doesn't speak to whether he got preferential treatment within the region, though. Hmmm...

  • Re:No idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:24AM (#40452815)

    That's pretty much how the world works. You can bet rich people in the UK don't stand in line at the local clinic. Germany either. If you're a billionaire and you have a deadly disease what do you think you're going to do? I don't know about you but I'm going to come off the wallet and try to save my ass. It's reality.

  • Re:No idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:25AM (#40452831)

    I think maybe you're a little naive.

  • Re:No idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:33AM (#40452943)

    Steve: You know doc, you've been real good to me. Tell you what, I'll sell it to you for a song to show my appreciation. It's a tough market out there now, and it would be nice to get rid of it.
    Doctor: Wow .. what a great guy you are. Thanks

    Yeah... that doesn't really sound like something Steve Jobs would do though, Jobs was a smart guy, but he wasn't necessarily the nicest guy, he had an ego the size of everest and a sense of entitlement to match.

  • Re:karma? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:53AM (#40453221)

    fat lot of good it did him.

    You begin to understand the problem, you just need to look a little bit further.

    The system prioritizes those who could most benefit medically. That is, if you are likely to die even with the transplant, then you should be behind the person who might have a 80% chance of 20 or 30 more years of life with that same organ. If Jobs "greased the skids" to get himself to the head of the list even though he was likely to die with the transplant, then there are some serious questions to be answered.

    Clearly the commissioners believe there is enough suspicion to investigate this more closely. It has the appearance of corruption on the part of the doctor and of Jobs.

  • by SpeZek ( 970136 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:54AM (#40453237) Journal

    Does Poe's Law apply to capitalists too?

    I honestly can't tell if you're serious.

  • Re:No idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @12:02PM (#40453331)

    Because we all know that Jobs would not have done a solid for a friend and sold it for a bargain price

    Think about how many times just that sort of explanation has been used in court by people charged with racketeering, ponzi schemses, and similar. "Just a litte favor for a friend" is what people who are paying illegal kickbacks bribery, or extortion always say. A guy gets a contract for a new highway overpass, and it just haapens he recently built an outdoor hot tubbing area behind state representitive X's house at a bargain rate - just a favor for a long standing friend.

    Here, a corporation was apparently formed and dissolved soon after just to handle this one transaction. Doesn't that sound like just maybe somebody knew they were guilty of something and was trying to cover it up? Oh no, people don't do that to hide from the law, they form new corporations just to do "a solid for a friend!".

  • 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.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @12:14PM (#40453489)

    By telling poor people: "tough luck, organs are awarded based on ability to pay and nothing else"?

    Why not? That is the way we distribute food, clothing and housing. Why should organs be different? What you are missing, is that if there were no artificial restrictions on organs, they would be far more plentiful. Most people don't check the donor box, because there is no incentive to do so. If they were prepaid $100, many more would do so.

  • by catmistake ( 814204 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @12:16PM (#40453497) Journal

    That's pretty much how the world works.

    And that is the way the world should work. People should be able to use money to buy things they want, encouraging more people to supply them. The problem here is that we have decided this shouldn't apply to organs, so the supply is severely restricted. If organs were treated like a normal commodity they would be far more plentiful because way more people would be donors.

    The problem is that human organs are not a normal commidity. Money doesn't and shouldn't give you the right to someone's organs. Money doesn't make you more deserving of the right to live any more than money makes you more deserving of death. If you believe that if you are rich enough then you should be allowed to pay for the right to have, say, the organs that will be available once someone is taken off life support, you are not only putting pressure on a situation that already has deep ethical concern for the doctor and the patient's family, what you are in effect saying is that if you are rich enough, you should be allowed to pay to kill someone. To put it another way, if you believe it is ethical for you to be able to pay to have some available organ, then you must believe it is perfectly ethical that I can pay to prevent you from getting said available organ. Ultimately the argument for an organ market is an egocentric one, and it doesn't meet the criterial of universalization, meaning that what you wish is not applicable to all under similar circumstances, and it therefore cannot be ethical.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @12:16PM (#40453507)
    As opposed to telling people at random, "Sorry, we know you were waiting on a heart transplant, but there are five people a month who will die without a heart transplant, but there are only two of the people a month who die actually signed up to be organ donors, even though there are ten a month whose hearts would be suitable for transplant."
  • by Relayman ( 1068986 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @12:53PM (#40454089)
    Many people don't check the donor box because they are appalled at the greedy doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies making good money off of their donated organs. Ever check the price of a transplant?
  • Re:karma? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @01:42PM (#40454807) Journal

    Since when is American health care system about "fair"? If you really wanted that, you'd have public healthcare long ago.

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