Hunger-strikers seek organ transplants for undocumented immigrants

A group of protesters, some of whom started a hunger strike on July 29, are trying to put pressure on Northwestern Hospital to provide organ transplants for undocumented immigrants.

Since they stopped eating eight days ago, the hunger strikers have subsisted on water and Gatorade. They say they’re tired and hungry but, they’re not giving up.

Monday morning they tried to go inside the hospital to meet with, and deliver a letter to, Northwestern Hospital CEO Dean Harrison but they were turned away by security guards.

The protesters also spent the night outside the hospital to make their point.

They  accuse Northwestern of routinely denying health care to undocumented immigrants, the poor, uninsured and other marginalized groups.

Fr. Jose Landaverde of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Catholic Mission says people who can’t afford to buy insurance should not be punished and denied humane treatment.

WGN spoke with Northwestern Hospital officials who promised a statement on the protesters, but have not yet issued one.

Protesters say they will remain until they meet with Harrison.

They also plan to target Christ Hospital in Oak lawn for the same reason.

8 comments

  • Andrea

    Why is this Northwestern's fault? Perhaps these patients can notify their local consulate (the Mexican one is a few blocks south on Michigan); they can then get their government to cover the extreme cost of these procedures.

    • Andrea

      Obama's America : everything for everyone – no charge. definition of a Democrat – someone who believes there is no end to other peoples' money.

  • Paul R

    The protesters are using a false argument. Because the voluntarily enroll as an organ donor, they are entitled to a free transplant? No! I received a liver transplant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. At least half of the transplant patients were minorities, largely Hispanic. There is no discrimination at Northwestern. It is a place where people of all races, incomes and religions come and get help. Their doctors and medical support staff are five star. They do not discriminate.

    Transplants are expensive. Mine cost $650,000 mostly covered by my insurance which I have paid for for 41 years. Fr. Jose Landaverde may be a very good priest, but he is confusing social justice which he thinks is Christ's teaching with Marxism. There is a difference. Christ expected us to care for our fellow man. He had no use for government anything. "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." Northwestern is in the right on this one. Don't give in.

  • Martin

    Well as an American citizen who is white, I don't see what's wrong with the protesters. I actually feel for them, whether they voluntarily enroll as an organ donor or not is not the issue. It's not right that they can be organ donors but they can't receive a transplant. I understand everyone's comments, frustrations and concerns over this issue, trust me, I get it but you can't group or generalize all undocumented immigrants as Mexicans who cross the border. I'm sure there's circumstances that arise where legitimate hard-working people who happen to be undocumented need a transplant and it's wrong to deny them and literally risk their life over politics! That's a disgusting and cruel thing to do, I don't care who or what you are or where you come from! Yes there's a lot of tax money wasted on stuff but I would have NO PROBLEM with my tax money SAVING SOMEONE'S LIFE! Don't lose your humanity people.

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