News Headlines Article

A hospital refused a new liver to a woman because she was undocumented. Then it found its heart.
Washington Post

Hospital officials in Oregon have ended a policy that prevented an undocumented woman from getting a liver transplant because of her immigration status after outcry, according to local news reports.

Silvia Lesama-Santos, 46, a mother of four who has lived in the country for at least 30 years, was denied the transplant in a letter Tuesday from transplant program at the Oregon Health and Science University, a public school dedicated to health-related sciences.

“You tell us that [you] do not have documentation of lawful presence or immigration documentation,” the school’s Transplant Services department wrote her in a Feb. 5 letter posted online Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. “OHSU requires proof of lawful presence for transplant services.”

The ACLU of Oregon had been involved in advocating for Lesama-Santos and publicizing the denial of care for her, which its director, Mat dos Santos, called “cruel and inhumane.”