…but nonetheless, this is a *fucking stupid waste* of scarce organs and scarce medical resources in the name of a surgeon’s vanity.
Even after the transplant, the child still has a >50% chance of dying in the next 10 years. Meanwhile, people of all ages regularly die because too many selfish idiots don’t want to donate their organs (“oooh, it’d be all icky if I was cut up after I died”).
Although the introduction of live dissection for anyone who refused consent for posthumous donation would be the most sensible solution for this problem, the net result in the meantime is that there aren’t enough organs to go round. So using up eight on someone who’s not old enough to be miffed about dying, who doesn’t have any dependants, and whose chances are still pretty bleak, is grossly irresponsible.
Meanwhile, millions of people across the world die of easily preventable diseases. For the $1 million (absolute minimum) cost of an operation like this one, you could innoculate five million babies against polio. OK, you couldn’t: the cost of needles and nurses and transport would be somewhat higher, but you could innoculate lots.
Well, unless religious fanatics stopped you (I’m torn between the same fate for these crazies as the one outlined above, or a slow death from preventable disease. The latter would be more appropriate, but less utilitarian). Or secular fanatics, come to that.
Incidentally, in the (hopefully unlikely) event that this is true, the measured and appropriate response would be to burn our illustrious First Lady at the stake…