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A Death RetoldJesica Santillan, the Bungled Transplant, and Paradoxes of Medical Citizenship$
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Keith Wailoo, Julie Livingston, and Peter Guarnaccia

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830598

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877524_wailoo

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The Politics of Second Chances

The Politics of Second Chances

Waste, Futility, and the Debate Over Jesica's Second Transplant

Chapter:
(p.119) The Politics of Second Chances
Source:
A Death Retold
Author(s):

Keith Wailoo

Julie Livingston

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807877524_wailoo.9

Jesica Santillan's second heart and lung transplant on February 21, 2003 became a controversial turning point that generated a wide range of problematic, uninformed, or widely speculative commentaries. This chapter focuses on the public and professional discussions about whether Jesica received special treatment. Critics observed that the second transplant brought the key issues of the case together: the problem of illegal immigration, questions about the appropriate use of scarce resources, preexisting debates over medical futility, and the proper remedies for medical error. The chapter examines how all these complex issues played off of one another as the public and professionals debated over Jesica's second transplant even as the issue of “second chances” took on vastly different meanings.

Keywords:   Jesica Santillan, transplant, illegal immigration, medical futility, medical error, second chances

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