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Racing Against the Clock, Sam and Bailey Perform an Illegal Transplant!
By Moira McMahon, Researcher
In Episode 303, Right Here, Right Now, Bailey rushes Sarah to Santa Monica for a life-saving kidney transplant.
After a botched transplant attempt at Seattle Grace, Sarah is out of time. She's been living a compromised life since her kidney failure set in. She's endured the disabling complications of long-term dialysis and because she's also a mother, her frequent hospitalizations and drained energy has been taking a toll on her entire body. With no other alternative left, she's got 72 hours left to live if she does not receive a transplant.
Her sister is a partial match, and she can get the kidney right now. It's not a perfect situation, but with anti-rejection drugs, Bailey and Sam want to go forward—except they can't. Sarah's sister Emily is HIV positive.
It is illegal to transplant an organ from an HIV positive person into an HIV negative person. The recipient will become HIV positive and with the immunosuppressant drugs you have to take after receiving an organ, Sarah could develop full blown AIDS very quickly. But there's just no data to know for sure what her long-term prognosis will be.
HIV is a treatable disease. We've come a long way with drug therapies, but it's still a life-altering condition.
Sarah wants the kidney. Emily wants to give her the kidney. Sarah and Emily have made their choices.
But Sam and Bailey are making a choice to commit a crime.
Though torn, Bailey and Sam do transplant the HIV positive kidney into Sarah.
Did they do the right thing by knowingly infecting her with HIV?
What do you think?
Is Transplanting an HIV Positive Organ a Justifiable Crime?