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Michigan Liable for Ex-Drinker's New Liver

November 13, 1986|Associated Press

DETROIT — A federal judge Wednesday ordered the state Department of Social Services to pay for a liver transplant for a man with a history of alcohol abuse.

U.S. District Judge Philip Pratt issued a 19-page opinion saying the department's policy barring immediate payment for the operation for Jeffrey Allen, 27, of Lake Orion was arbitrary and unreasonable.

The opinion was reported by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has criticized the state's largest agency. The judge ruled that the state must pay the cost, estimated at $140,000, of a liver transplant at University of Chicago Hospital, where Allen is being treated, an ACLU attorney said.

The department had disallowed Medicaid funds for the operation based on a rule that candidates must abstain from alcohol for two years before receiving an organ transplant. Allen told authorities that he stopped drinking in March.

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