OK lets start with the basics on this one.
Liver transplantation currently is the only definitive treatment for severe (end stage) liver failure.
There is always a shortage of livers and medical resources unfortunately thus there are requisites involved when it is determined if a patient qualifies for a liver transplant. The bottom line is that when using a resource as precious as a donated organ, we want to be assured that it is put to the best use possible. If a patient looks unlikely to survive long after a procedure due to health factors, they will be dropped on the list so that more viable recipients may get the procedure. Tough but essential decisions when finite resources are involved.
Many liver transplant procedures are done in Canada to treat liver failure due to chronic alcohol abuse.
One of the most surefire ways to negate the benefits of a liver transplant is to resume alcohol consumption after the transplant. The liver will be wasted and the patient will die. Because of this risk, there are sobriety requirements for patients before they can get a new liver. In Ontario it is six months.
Sobriety from addiction is a damn tough thing. I am speaking first hand as I am a recovering alcoholic. I am on my second stint with sobriety. My first was for a year some years ago. Now I am permanently dry and have been so for over six months now. As a bartender, I can assure you that it was challenging to become sober to say the least. One of the things that encouraged me to dry out was testing that found that my liver function was beginning to decline.
I, like many alcoholics come from a long line of alcoholics. My grandfather died young due to drinking and one of my uncles is on his second liver. Had my uncle not had a liver transplant, he would have died over a decade ago. In knowing the way my uncle drank, had he not been forced into sobriety for nearly a year before he got his transplant, he almost assuredly would have continued drinking after his transplant and would have died. The liver would have been wasted. I am glad for the responsible policies that forced him to break from his dependency though it did make for a tense period of time on the waiting list. Many alcoholics die on the waiting list unfortunately but it makes the requirement no less important. Bear in mind that many non-drinkers find themselves in need of livers and die on waiting lists as well. How many livers do we want to risk on people who may destroy them if we remove the sobriety requirement?
In my first stint with sobriety, I fully immersed myself in the program with Alcoholics Anonymous. While I didn’t care for the spiritual nature of the program, the sharing and time with other alcoholics was valuable to me in gaining and maintaining my sobriety at that time. One lesson that is clear from the shared wisdom of countless alcoholics in the program is that sober time is critical in reducing the chances of relapse. The first 90 days are the toughest. The next bar is six months. While many alcoholics unfortunately can relapse after years, if they can make it past a year of sobriety things are looking pretty good for them. That is why a six month sobriety for liver transplantation is not arbitrary or unreasonable.
There are studies being done to see how effective this waiting period is and we can wait and see I guess.
Now, on to the main subject here.
Delilah Saunders is a young native activist who sadly found herself in need of a liver transplant. As with everybody else in Ontario she was required to remain sober for six months before becoming eligible for the procedure. Due to her profile as an activist, other activists along with Amnesty International began protesting and claiming that it was discrimination to make Delilah wait for a transplant like everybody else.
It is sad but clear that anti-discrimination activists have utterly no idea what discrimination is.
From a CBC article on the issue:
Sobriety requirement ‘discriminatory’
How in the hell is having an equal policy for all races suddenly discrimination?
Yes, native people do suffer from addiction issues more than non-native people. That is due to our utterly failed reserve system which is essentially a system of apartheid maintained under the racist “Indian Act”.
None of the above justifies different status on medical requirements for transplantation.
One of the worst things being done to natives today is the nanny-state infantilization of them as a people to the point where they are never found to be personally responsible for any of their actions. This bullshit claim of discrimination in the case of liver transplant requirements is a prime example of it.
Our world seems to be going mad as identity politics dominate and an endless search for new perceived racial inequities has become a profession unto itself. It is tough to think of things more damned stupid than claiming that equal medical treatment is racist yet here we are.
On a good note, Delilah Saunders is reported to be recovering without a transplant so far. Lets hope that she recovers fully and learns to live a healthy life going forward. Even with live donation, the cost for transplant is around $40,000 for some very scarce medical dollars which could go to other patients if need be so she never needs the transplant it is great for everybody. If Delilah does still need the transplant and remains sober for the period long enough for it that is a good outcome too.
Lets just get off this tiresome and divisive bullshit of calling everything and anything discriminatory whenever something goes adversely for a native person. It is not helping anybody native or non-native alike.