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Entries in Illegal (3)

Thursday
Feb092012

Illegal Immigrant to Get New Kidney

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A dying California dad who was denied a kidney transplant because of his undocumented immigration status has been given a second chance at life.

University of California-San Francisco has agreed to operate on Jesus Navarro, an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

UCSF had originally denied surgery to Navarro in May after doctors found out he was in the country illegally, saying he couldn't provide adequate aftercare.

"UCSF was following its policy to make sure Mr. Navarro would continue to have the health insurance necessary to receive proper post-transplant follow-up," the hospital said in a joint statement from UCSF's chief medical officer, Dr. Josh Adler, and Navarro Thursday.

"Follow-up care is critical to transplant patients, who otherwise may lose the organ and become less healthy than they were on dialysis," the statement added. "UCSF regrets the misunderstanding and is committed to reviewing its processes to make sure that communication is consistent and clear with all patients, including Mr. Navarro. UCSF does not and will not discriminate on the basis of immigration status."

The decision came following a petition on Change.org that accumulated 130,000 signatures in support of Navarro's case.

The petition was started by Donald Kagan, a kidney transplant recipient whose kidney was donated by a Nicaraguan immigrant.

"Immigration status should never be a death sentence," Kagan said in a news release.

Change.org said within days of the campaign launch Kagan had accumulated 130,000 supporters. He then went to UCSF Kidney Transplant Center with the petition, asking doctors to reconsider their decision.

"I am incredibly relieved that UCSF will give Jesus the kidney he needs to survive," said Kagan.

While supporters are thrilled at the recent decision, some immigration reform advocates say legal residents should be given preference when it comes to receiving an organ.

"Our view is that it is responsible to give preference to people in similar circumstances if they're citizens and legal resident of the United States," said Ira Mehlam, the national media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "This was a unique case, because he was getting a kidney directly from his wife."

Navarro, who has private health insurance, had reached the top of the donor list when doctors told him they couldn't operate. He is now expected to be at the top of the list again within three to six months.

"The success that Donald Kagan achieved in just a few days in his campaign to save a father's life demonstrates the power that each and every one of us have to make a difference," said Jackie Mahendra, director of organizing at Change.org.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov262010

Toxic Butt-Boosting Injections: Why Is It Still Happening?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's not the first time patients have allegedly been harmed by a risky, unapproved approach to a larger, curvier backside -- and it probably won't be the last.

So say cosmetic surgeons in response to the latest news of another untrained practitioner -- this time a 28-year-old model in New Brunswick, N.J. -- facing charges of practicing medicine without a license in offering butt-boosting injections, according to reports this week in the Star-Ledger.

Anivia Cruz-Dilworth allegedly injected six women in the buttocks with silicone bathtub caulk in March. The women reportedly showed up in hospital emergency rooms complaining of problems, several requiring surgery to treat serious bacterial infections.

Illegal butt-boosting procedures have sent other women to the hospital in recent years as well. Cosmetic surgeons said the occurrence of such procedures is evidence that much of the public remains uneducated about the difference between the risky, unapproved practice and legitimate cosmetic surgery.

"This is a real problem, especially with the slow economy," said Dr. Julius Few, commissioner of cosmetic medicine for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

"More people are trying to achieve an enhancement, all over the body, the 'easy way,' and large volume silicone injections to the buttock is an example. It seems easy, you see the change right away, and it is cheap because industrial-grade material is used, not medical."

Buttock augmentation was up 37.5 percent in 2009 from the previous year and buttock lifts were up 34.6 percent, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov222010

Synthetic Marijuana: New 'Legal' Drug with Scary Consequences

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Young people across the country are getting a new high from a powerful substance that isn't sold by drug dealers and is perfectly legal -- synthetic marijuana. Also known as K2 or Spice, synthetic marijuana is available in states across the country, and it has the Drug Enforcement Administration deeply troubled.

Synthetic marijuana is a mixture of common herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana. A disclaimer on the packages stating that it is not for human consumption allows the substance to remain on store shelves.

In 12 states, its sale has been banned by legislatures.

In the past year, there have been over 500 cases of adverse reactions to synthetic marijuana across the country, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The number has risen exponentially, with the organization only citing 6 reported incidents from the year before.

"You're basically playing Russian roulette with these chemicals," said Gary Boggs, a special agent with the DEA. "Hallucination, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure...these chemicals appear to bind to certain parts of the brain, so the potential for long-term effects are very deadly."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio