Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study

Type of paper: Case Study

Topic: Medicine, Organs, Criminal Justice, Crime, Nursing, Organ Transplantation, Education, Students

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2020/12/02


The parties involved in the case are Jesica Santillan and Duke University. The case involves the family of Jesica Santillan against Duke University. The family of Jesica Santillan was represented by Howard Nations. The case was not filed in any court. Both parties reached an out-of-court settlement regarding the matter.


Jessica Santillan was a 17-year-old Mexican teenager with congenital restrictive cardiomyopathy. Jesica was admitted to Duke University Hospital for a heart-lung transplant. The first transplant was carried out on February 7th, 2003. The hospital transplanted blood type A organs to Jesica of blood type O positive. Her body rejected the organs because they were a mismatch to her blood type. A second transplant was carried out on February 20th. Medical complications arising from the mismatched organs from the first transplant began to afflict Jesica after the second transplant. Though this lung/heart block was functioning properly, the trauma of the first organ rejection coupled with being on life support for two weeks caused irreparable brain damage. Jesica was kept on life-support machines until 22nd February when she was declared dead from irreversible brain damage. One fact that has not been disclosed regards how Duke University Hospital was able to obtain a heart and lung for a second transplant for Jesica in such a short period yet her chances of survival were low.


The issue being litigated is the malpractice of Duke University Hospital doctors who performed the heart and lung transplant on Jesica. The doctors involved in the operation did not verify the compatibility of the donor organs with Jesica’s blood type. The medical error that occurred caused medical complications that lead to the death of Jesica.


The Santillan family did not wish to pursue the case in a court of law. Jesica’s family and Duke University settled the case out of court. The settlement was approved by an undisclosed court. All the terms of the agreement were signed to confidentiality by both parties. Duke University also created a fund of $4 million in the memory of Jessica Santillan. The fund was established to help other families of young Hispanic patients.  Jesica Santillan's mother approved the creation of the fund. The settlement was mutually satisfactory for both parties.


The case of Jesica Santillan brought about discussions regarding how scarce donor organs are allocated to patients. In the United States, thousands of patients require organs transplants every year. Heart and lung transplants have a long waiting list, and the situation is complicated further by the fact that there are very few donor organs available. The major issue was whether it was ethical to give one patient multiple transplants and multiple organs yet their chances of survival were low. New policies were developed to address the challenge of choosing patients to receive organs transplants. Another issue concerned the allocation of organs to illegal immigrants. Should illegal immigrants receive medical attention ahead of US citizens? Should medical care be provided equally to all people residing in the US, citizens or otherwise? Jesica Santillan was an illegal immigrant who had moved with her family from Mexico into the United States a few years before her transplant.
Healthcare institutions had to create policies to decide on the rationale for allocating the scarce donor organs to patients. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) came up with a policy that no more than 5% of organs transplanted in any medical institution could be allocated to non-US citizens. Legal implications of the case concern the amount of money that should be paid out to litigants in instances of medical malpractice. Healthcare institutions should implement more rigorous standards of practice regarding critical medical conditions such as organ transplants in order to reduce cases of medical errors. If Santillan and Duke University had not reached an agreement, the case would probably have been tried in court.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 02) Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study. Retrieved May 28, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-santillan-vs-duke-university-case-study/
"Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study." WePapers, 02 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-santillan-vs-duke-university-case-study/. Accessed 28 May 2022.
WePapers. 2020. Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study., viewed May 28 2022, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-santillan-vs-duke-university-case-study/>
WePapers. Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study. [Internet]. December 2020. [Accessed May 28, 2022]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-santillan-vs-duke-university-case-study/
"Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study." WePapers, Dec 02, 2020. Accessed May 28, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-santillan-vs-duke-university-case-study/
WePapers. 2020. "Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved May 28, 2022. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-santillan-vs-duke-university-case-study/).
"Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 02-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-santillan-vs-duke-university-case-study/. [Accessed: 28-May-2022].
Example Of Santillan Vs. Duke University Case Study. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-santillan-vs-duke-university-case-study/. Published Dec 02, 2020. Accessed May 28, 2022.

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