Sunday, June 1, 2008

bRUINS trash talk USC, While serving up livers on the black market

Some Bruin bloggers spend more time trashing USC than focusing on their own school or program. The news on those particular UCLA blogs are Trojan happenings, ranging from O.J. Mayo’s scandal, Reggie Bush’s scandal, O.J. Simpson’s run-ins with the law, to any DUI’s or minor offenses received by former Trojans across the professional leagues. But while these writers were busy nitpicking and trashing USC, and praising UCLA for being an institution of sense and purity, the UCLA Medical Center was participating in an act that isn't just horrible, but will launch a criminal investigation.

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times broke the story of UCLA Medical Center serving up liver transplants to Japanese mob bosses in exchange for monetary donations. What’s the price of a liver at UCLA? It’s $100, 000. For $100, 000, the Goto Gumi gang was able to bypass everyone on the long list of American patients awaiting life saving liver transplants.

According to the story, a plaque on the seventh floor surgery office reads, “In grateful recognition of the Goto research fund established through the generosity of Mr. Tadamasa Goto”. Mr. Goto is one of 4 Japanese men that are barred entry into the United States. Of course, UCLA claims they knew nothing of the mob connection, but I still fail to see how any foreigner, regardless of his wealth, can take precedence over ailing Americans.

The 4 livers in question were transplanted between the years 2000 and 2004, with UCLA receiving generous donations for each. In the year of Goto’s transplant, 186 patients died as a result of their failing organ. Allowing one to survive, would mean exchanging them in the casket with this Japanese mobster. Obviously, this wasn't something the UCLA Medical Center was willing to do.

Bruins are often heard saying that you “can’t spell scum without the letters U-S-C”, but obviously, after a national search of hospitals, Japanese mobsters found their scum listed under “U-C-L-A”.

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