He needed a lung transplant but was denied a spot on the transplant list at the University of Utah hospital because he had tested positive for THC — the main intoxicant found in marijuana.
Officials for the University of Utah said in a statement that they follow international guidelines and “do not transplant organs in patients with active alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use or dependencies until these issues are addressed, as these substances are contraindicated for a transplant.” The hospital said that they follows international guidelines for transplants.
Riley Hancey’s father Mark Hancey said that Riley Hancey had smoked marijuana with his friends on Thanksgiving of 2016, but had been drug-free for a year by the time of his illness.
Turned down by the University of Utah Hospital, the family searched the country for a hospital willing to perform the operation. Two months after being turned down the University of Pennsylvania agreed to perform the transplant. Riley Hancey was flown out on a medical transport and the surgery was performed.