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This plea circulated around progressive websites in hope that Cigna Insurance would reverse its decision to deny a teenager a life-saving liver transplant. The company’s phones and emails were jammed with petitions to save 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan’s life. Cigna bowed to pressure reversing its denial Thursday, December 20th; however, Sarkisyan died that same day–10 days after doctors determined she needed the surgery.

Nataline had leukemia and needed a liver transplant because the organ failed after she received a bone marrow transplant from her brother.

The California Nurses Association took up the cause to save Nataline’s life. Member and RN, Geri Jenkins noted, “…it is deplorable and appalling that CIGNA needed to have hundreds of people pounding on their doors and besieging them with calls to take the humanitarian step they should have done long before today.”

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14 thoughts on “Girl Dies as Cigna Insurance Reconsiders Denying Transplant

  1. This isn’t something to be upset over. It wasn’t anything personal, it was business. Insurance companies have the right to decline pretty much whatever they choose to.

    This girl’s parents should have been more devoted to getting the money as opposed to fighting city hall.

    • Obviously you have never paid premiums to an insurance company. When you buy their services they enter int a agreement with you and you give them money. They do not have the right to renig on a promise because it excedes what they want to pay. They want to accept money from people without ever having to make payments of any amount.

      It’s a greedy business. The way the systems are setup you can’t get medical care without dealing with them. I work in the healthcare field and see it every day.

      I don’t care how you look at it , it was despicable.

  2. Some people tend to be “upset” when they lose a child. Investing years of love and hope into a child, only to have the child die can be a blow from which parents do not recover. That insurance companies wedge themselves between the interests of doctors and patients to skim profits off human suffering screams a depravity of the worst sort.

    Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars do not just suddenly appear because a person needs it. If anything, the money disappears all the more with time devoted to caretaking.

    It is a national shame, in a country that declares we are born to certain inalienable rights like LIFE! that this sort of apathy is the status quo.

    It’d be really great if more people at least acted like they have a conscience.

  3. i agree with the first comment, this was a business decision. if everyone insurance company had to chose how/when to pay certain claims based off of empathy then they’d be out of business. it’s sad to see things like this occur, but it’s a reality. transplants are the most expensive type of procedure and there’s much risk run either way, to save her or not to perform the procedure.

    it’s sad that she died in the process of humanitarian choices versus business logistics, but lives are lost every day. the harder truth even after a possible surgery (for her) would be follow up care and that may be for the rest of her life. most people don’t stay with companies for a lifetime so care for one’s ailment may not always be dependable as it is necessary.

  4. So, insurance companies effectively euthanize us, and that’s okay..but wait this wasn’t a mercy killing…since the people who knew the girl and loved her wanted her to live. Strike the mercy out. This was just killing.

  5. Lots of people claim to be Christians. Plenty are lying. Anybody who had a hand in this girl’s death isn’t. Anybody who thinks “it’s just business,” shouldn’t bother to do soul searching because there’s no soul in you.

    People who worship business are called fascists. In a psychiatrist’s office this kind of thinking is called sociopathy.

  6. reenabee, no, what is sad is your take on this. As if we must choose between forcing companies to save more lives, and cutting costs. This is why we need universal health care.

    And to Michael Crook, all I can say is how dare you. How dare you blame the parents, and sympathize with a company for putting profit over a girl’s life.

  7. I think all the comments have truth behind them. I feel terrible for that girl and her parents, I also feel terrible for the thousands of kids with Crohn’s, asthma, and other chronic illnesses that no insurance company will touch. Why would they? They’re not charity. They’re trying to make money like every other company in this fascist country, so they see no reason in covering someone who will cost them millions of dollars in their lifetime.

    I wish I could say universal healthcare is the answer, but I lived in a country where they had it and even though every procedure was free, you had to give money or a gift of some sort to the nurse, otherwise she wouldn’t even empty your bedpan. The same thing went for the doctors, dentists, etc.

    I work in healthcare and the system is not working anymore. If something doesn’t get done soon, we won’t have anybody to take care of in hospitals because either they’ll be dead or they won’t have enough money to pay for it.

    If we do decide to go to universal healthcare, I think it should be paid with the money from the income tax. After all, it’s 30% of someone’s total income… you basically work 4 months out of the year to pay the interest on the national debt. Yup, that’s right, your money goes straight into the pockets of the Federal Reserve bankes. So why not put it to good use? I think it would more than take care of all the medical needs for everybody.

    But I’m just dreaming…

  8. The comments made by the two insurance company leg humpers makes me sick. I live in Canada and don’t usually reply to many blogs of this sort, but I see that this money hungry system that has destroyed the foundations of the American Constitution is what poisons the world view of America itself. Here in Canada, contrary to popular belief, I have to pay for universal health care on a monthly basis, it is mandatory. If I can’t pay, due to lack of sufficient income, the government pays it for me. No one is refused health care, but due to the greed of American wealth who need severely overpaid doctors, we see a drain of our health care professionals moving south, and waiting lines growing. However, a 17year old girl in this country would never wait for a transplant that would save her life. I do not blame the insurance companies as much as I blame the political corruption surrounding them, as well as the rich campaign pushers. If her policy did not include the transplant, the insurance company cannot be blamed. I blame the doctors and politicians themselves for letting their own ethics disappear with the color green. I mean, come on, if you knew that you had the ability to save a 17 year old girls life, could you just stay quiet and do nothing. I would honestly leave the insurance company be, and start devoting more energy to the man or woman with the real power and get them out of office. Stop voting for the same party you voted in for the last 40 years, try a new party that will take care of these issues. Here in Canada we have a similar 2 power party system, but the smaller parties are gaining more power every year and that has our government on it’s heels, grasping at what air they have left. If the governor or senator of that particular state was recieving all the hate mail instead of the insurance company, I’m sure something would have been done sooner. I am sorry if I have a clouded vision of the system down there, and I feel for the girl and her family, but, republican or democrat just isn’t working. Neither party cares about the American citizen, so get out ther and vote! Insurance companies are corporate leeches and should be treated as such, so why does everyone just assume they are covered. I think universal health care is possible, but a tax hike is neccesary. In Canada I pay approximately 37% income tax, much more than in the US, Plus I pay approximately $1300 per year for mandatory Provincial Health Care. If I need a transplant, I get it regardless of color, race, or wealth. Only age plays a part. The young are put first, real simple. Michael Crook and Reenabee, I hope you choke on your words, and I guarantee that after this short life we all live, you two will not be joining Nataline in the afterlife.

  9. Micheal Crook

    “It’s a business”

    Just wait until someone you love gets sick and insurance refuses to pay.

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