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Thousands of younger people were waiting to receive a heart like the one Cheney, 71, got but a doctor says the waiting list is 'heavily policed.'
Did Dick Cheney, once the most powerful vice president ever, get unfairly favorable treatment in receiving a heart transplant on Saturday?
At least one doctor feels this is unlikely, according to The Associated Press.
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Cheney, 71, had waited two years on a waiting list after being diagnosed with “end-stage” heart failure, according to NPR.
According to the AP, more than 2,300 transplants were performed in the US last year but 330 died while waiting for one and 3,100 people are now on the waiting list.
The AP said this meant thousands of younger people were also in line to receive the heart that Cheney got.
NPR said more than 70 percent of people survive at least five years after receiving transplants. But the number drops slightly if the recipient, like Cheney, is older than 65. Cheney has suffered five heart attacks since age 37 and has undergone quadruple bypass surgery and other procedures.
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Allen Taylor, chief cardiologist chief at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, was quoted today as saying that the process of obtaining a new heart was resistant to favoritism.
The transplant waitlist is "a very regimented and fair process, and heavily policed,” he was quoted as saying.