STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Today, University Medical Center in Tucson has confirmed that a UMC patient, who was awaiting a transplant, but was refused the life saving procedure because of Republican budget cuts, has died.
“It’s time to put politics aside and restore the transplant funding,” said incoming Senate Minority Leader David Schapira. “Gov. Brewer and the Republican leadership at the legislature need to join us and take immediate action to fix their mistake. Failure to restore this funding is a death sentence for people who have committed no crimes.”
There are now up to 96 living patients who are depending on Brewer and legislative Republicans to join Democratic lawmakers and make the right decision to restore coverage. Multiple doctors and transplantation associations have released data showing that transplantation in cases like those of the Arizona patients saves lives.
Senator-Elect Schapira has already introduced Senate Bill 1001 this legislative session to restore transplant coverage that only costs the state $1.2 million. The legislative session begins January 10.
Dr. Rainer Gruessner, University of Arizona Surgery Department Chairman, first reported the patient’s death in a news report with KOLD News 13 in Tucson Tuesday evening.