Friday, December 16, 2011

Kidney transplants in the U.S. prison system

The recent insider trading conviction of hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam sheds some light on the situation facing U.S. prisoners with kidney disease: Rajaratnam Said to Be Assigned to Massachusetts Medical Prison

"Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund manager sentenced to 11 years in prison for insider trading, was assigned to a federal prison medical center in Massachusetts, according to a person familiar with the matter.
"Rajaratnam, who says he has health problems including diabetes and will probably need dialysis and eventually a kidney transplant, was instead assigned by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to the Federal Medical Center Devens, according to the person, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. 
"Devens provides dialysis to about 85 inmates, with the capacity for as many as 125, Howard said.
Since 2004, 15 Devens inmates have received kidney transplants, performed at theUniversity of Massachusetts, she said.
Prisoners who receive permission from the Bureau of Prisons enter the national organ donor list on the same basis as patients outside prison, according to Howard. The prison has about 31 inmates who received transplants before they were in custody, she said.
“Mr. Rajaratnam has medical conditions that are managed routinely by the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” Howard said in her affidavit."

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