Woman Dies After Being Denied Organ Transplant

A Hawaii woman diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, chronic hepatitis – infection, and end-stage kidney disease died after being denied a liver transplant by her insurance company, Hawaii Medical Service Association, because trace amounts of cannabis were found in her body.

Reyes was twice denied a transplant by HMSA for “technical reasons,” such as missing required Alcoholics Anonymous meetings — because she was too weak.

However, on July 17, HMSA approved Reyes’ request for a liver transplant.

That approval signaled the Reyes family and HMSA had apparently resolved compliance issues, Herhold said.

Three days later, however, HMSA withdrew the transplant approval after it received toxicology tests that showed cannabis in Reyes’ system, her attorney said.

I think it’s pretty disgusting that an insurance company would approve this life saving transplant and then reverse that decision because she used marijuana. If she wasn’t a good choice for the transplant they should have known that before finding marijuana in her system. Marijuana does not cause cancer or other life threatening illnesses.