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Dick Cheney has Heart Transplant

It’s an incredible feat of modern medicine that we can replace a heart.

Mr. Cheney is in intensive care at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

From the AP:

“Although the former vice president and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift,” aide Kara Ahern said in a written statement that was authenticated by several of the Republican politician’s close associates.

[..] More than 3,100 Americans currently are on the national waiting list for a heart transplant. Just over 2,300 heart transplants were performed last year, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. And 330 people died while waiting.

According to UNOS, 332 people over age 65 received a heart transplant last year. The majority of transplants occur in 50- to 64-year-olds.

The odds of survival are good. More than 70 percent of heart transplant recipients live at least five years, although survival is a bit lower for people over age 65.

The former vice president suffered a heart attack in 2010, his fifth since the age of 37.

I almost didn’t put this news up, because of the jokes it would inevitably inspire.

Please try to keep the disrespect down to a dull roar.

Of course, if you have something to say on actual policy, let ‘er rip.


23 Responses to Dick Cheney has Heart Transplant

  1. StrideHyde March 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    I hope he waited in line, though somehow I doubt he did.

  2. Jamie44 March 24, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Despite political disagreements, I do wish the former VP and his family well. Of course there are considerations. For the average person, there would be no insurance because of pre existing conditions. Even if insured, the cut off for coverage is often 65. Certainly the premiums would have been horrendous and his medical care if not paid for by a grateful government would have driven the family into bankruptcy with the concomitant loss of the family home. Of course none of these conditions apply to the man who opposes the generous care he received for everyone else.

    • Jane Austen March 25, 2012 at 7:40 am #

      I’m going to have to disagree with you on this Jamie44 – a family member has been the recipient of not only a heart but a kidney transplant. He had pre-exisiting conditions, and he did not lose his home or have to declare bankruptcy because many institutions that do transplants manage to cover the costs without destroying the person’s finances. My cousin has had his heart since 1993, his kidney since 1996 and he is still going strong. For this we are extremely thankful to the organ donors and the hospital and doctors that did the transplants.

      Taylor – I have observed kidney transplants which I thought were awesome. I would have loved to observe a heart transplant. For the record – the oldest donor of a kidney that I recall was 83 years old. Both kidneys were in pristine condition. When I looked at those two kidneys I could not believe how anyone that age could have been a donor. She also donated her cornea which were also transplanted. If you’re not a donor, consider becoming one.

      I wish Mr. Cheney well and hope he stops and thinks about how fortunate he is and changes his stance on good healthcare as a right for everyone.

      • Jamie44 March 25, 2012 at 10:46 am #

        And just recently the State of Arizona cut off funding for transplants. It still comes down to hit and miss without any healthcare guarantees. If you have money, charitable friends, and institution that does pro bono etc. that is all well and good. The point is that it shouldn’t be one set of rules and care for one fortunate and/or wealthy connected person and another set of rules with loss and crises for another. Humanity would seem to require the same standards for all

        • Jane Austen March 25, 2012 at 11:33 am #

          I’m thankful that I don’t live in a state like Arizona. I live in a much more liberal state which allows patients on Medicaid to get transplants. I worked in transplant surgery for 3 years so I have a good idea of who got transplants. I don’t know what the average age for a heart transplant is these days; at one time it was about 4 1/2 years. My cousin waited more than 5. I’m in agreement that “it shouldn’t be one set of rules and care for one fortunate and/or wealthy connected person and another set of rules with loss and crises for another.” Somewhere we forgot that we are all part of humanity, not just a few with privilege.

          I won’t get into a debate as to whether someone 71 years old should get a transplant. That’s a choice that his doctors, family and he makes. I don’t know how much life Mr. Cheney has left at this time but I certainly hope he gets a “heart.” He is a very lucky man to get this second chance.

  3. Cujo359 March 25, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    I think bmaz’s bit of snark will be hard to top:

    Was Osama bin-Laden an organ donor?

  4. fairmindedindependent March 25, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    I would never joke about something like this. I also disagree with him on a number of issues, but I do wish him well. This is a serious surgery and wish him the best.

  5. secularhumanizinevoluter March 25, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    A man PROUD of ordering torture as an official policy. PROUD of ordering war crimes and crimes against humanity that violate the Geneva Conventions which the United States of America is not only a signatory to but actually used to HANG German and Japanese officials and officers for doing the same things Cheney ordered.
    Who now has used socialized,government supplied and paid for healthcare he and his party strive to deny the rest of us.
    I don’t “disagree with him on a number of issues”.
    I want the war criminal, murdering bastard to suffer just as much as any mass murdering war criminals victims have suffered.
    Frankly false and hypocritical expressions of good wishes to this kind of societal carcinoma make me want to puke.

  6. Rick Roberts March 25, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    I can’t muster any snark. Andrew Breitbart on the other hand …

    Speedy recovery to the evil bastard. May this experience soften him.

  7. StrideHyde March 25, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    I just heard this morning he was on the waiting list for 20 years. Maybe it was done right. I have not heard his position on universal access to care.

  8. tm123 March 25, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    We can assume he has quit drinking, at least for 28 days. I bet he has been bumped back down the list more than once in 20 years. Sobriety is going to be a real shock at his age. And then there’s the new heart thing. Prayers for his family.

    • Rick Roberts March 25, 2012 at 10:08 am #

      Has there ever been a suggestion that the old coot is an alcoholic? I have never heard that. There is plenty to loathe without making things up.

  9. Uh-oh March 25, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    The guy is 71 years old! How ridiculous to even be eligible for a transplant at that age. But it does go to show that in the US, if you have money, you get any health care procedure you want. And if you don’t have money, not so much.

    Surely someone younger would have been a better choice. I might feel differently if there were plenty of donor organs and few people on a waiting list, but I think that Cheney getting a heart transplant is on a par with moving someone like Kim Jong-il or Bin Laden up the list for a transplant. When you are already old and sick, how much does this add to your life?

    • kris March 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

      Wow Uh-oh….

      Don’t know your age, but 71 is relatively young these days. I wouldn’t describe 71 as old and if you weren’t sick you wouldn’t need a transplant right? Obviously a transplant could add years to someone’s life.

      BTW – someone younger would be a better choice? By what criteria? Yours? And who would you like making these decisions, those who would consider only “younger” individuals.

      • whitepaw March 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

        Thanks Kris — So glad you posted this.

        • kris March 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

          I could have said more Whitepaw, but……

      • Rick Roberts March 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

        Hillary will be 69 in 2016, and if she runs, is elected, and re-elected, she will be 77 at the end. Just saying.

      • Uh-oh March 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

        First–I am in the same age bracket as Cheney, and while you might consider this “relatively young”, I don’t. And I am a lot healthier than Cheney has ever been.

        Second, just so you know, I don’t believe that I should be eligible for a transplant either. Further, if I were eligible, I would refuse one anyway.

        I just posted my opinion, which is as valid as anyone’s opinion..

        • whitepaw March 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm #


  10. ladywalker68 March 25, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    I wish him well and his family well during his recover. Now if only when he feels better he could stand trial and go to prison for the rest of his life for the war crimes he committed that would be such poetic justice. I wish him a speedy recovery AND poetic justice.

  11. Sasha March 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    The comments by Uh-oh are Very disturbing.

    • whitepaw March 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm #


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