Exploring the Dark Heart of American Medicine

The Death of Number 215: 
Lahey Surgeon Kills Healthy Liver Donor

Dr. Elizabeth Pomfret

Dr. Elizabeth Pomfret

   Or, as The Boston Globe put it on June 12, 2010: “At the Lahey, a Stunning, Rare  Tragedy… Donor Dies in Liver Transplant Attempt…  A man who agreed to donate part of his liver to help a sick relative died while undergoing the transplant procedure at Lahey Clinic in Burlington two weeks ago, the hospital said…”     

Two weeks ago.

Lahey, like most top-drawer medical research centers,  has an institutional knack for damage control, honed by years of experience. And the tenor of the headline shows that the hometown rag has an institutional understanding of who butters the bread in Boston. The story of the death of Paul Douglas Hawks, 56, of Tampa, Florida, at the Lahey Clinic was buried in the Burlington Hyperlocal section of Boston.com, along with news of  neighborhood real estate deals and progress in repaving a section of Route 128.

Paul Hawks, who walked into the lobby of the Lahey Clinic under his own steam on a mission of mercy, was wheeled out the back door under a sheet marked Property of Tufts Medical School. …   Continue Reading

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