Yet, here we are, weighing in on yet another case that at first blush looks like the usual big-guy insurance-giant bullying the little-guy. But is it?
Here is the breakdown:
- Nataline Sarkisyan, 17-year leukemia patient dies after being removed from life support following complications developed after a bone marrow transplant from her brother the day before Thanksgiving. The complications caused Nataline's liver to fail, placing her in a vegetative state.
- Nataline's doctors at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, appealed to the Sarkisyan's insurer, Cigna Corp., to reconsider an initial refusal of a liver transplant, which doctors said was crucial to her survival. Cigna initially refused to authorize the procedure, calling it experimental.
- Cigna later rescinds the earlier decision, agreeing to the transplant in an 11th hour change of heart.
- Nataline dies within an hour of being removed from life support.
At issue is whether the procedure would indeed have saved her life. Doctors in the case stated the survival rate for patients in similar situations is six months at 65 percent. A complicated case.
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