Mary Stinemetz is dying of liver disease.
There is a way she could live: Doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital could perform a liver transplant. Medicaid will even foot the bill.
But Stinemetz doesn’t want that… because she’s a Jehovah’s Witness and she think God will hate her if she gets a blood transfusion.
“I love life,” Stinemetz told The Kansas City Star by telephone. “But when it comes to obeying our creator, I am going to obey my creator before I do anything else, because he gave us our life. You’ve got to follow his laws.”
Instead, she wants to go to Omaha, Nebraska so she can have a bloodless transfusion done. (The Kansas hospital doesn’t do them because the procedure is relatively new and “the safety is just not there.”) She wants the state to cover the costs. They’re rightfully saying no.
“There is no medical necessity for the beneficiary to have a bloodless transplant — a regular liver transplant is available in Kansas and would be considered medically necessary,” the state said in denying coverage in early February 2010. “The beneficiary’s religious preference to have a bloodless liver transplant does not meet medical necessity.”
The state won the court battle in February, 2010, and I hope they win in the Kansas Court of Appeals now, too.
Stinemetz is being ridiculous. The state shouldn’t be expected to cater to the outrageous whims of every religious person when a reasonable solution is readily available.
If Stinemetz gets her way, where will the insanity stop? What other religious nonsense will the state have to accede to? At what point can you throw your hands in the air and say “enough is enough”?
This isn’t about preventing her religious freedom. No one’s forcing her to get the liver transplant. She’s welcome to go to Nebraska and get whatever procedure she wants. But if she takes that route, she can pay her own bill.
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