Adolfo Flora: 6 Months to Live
Christmas 1999, 50 year old Toronto science teacher, Adolfo Flora, was diagnosed with liver cancer – the result of a tainted blood transfusion that gave him Hepatitis C. He needed a partial liver transplant, but his doctors told him that a deceased-donor liver was near-impossible to procure and he wasn’t likely to survive.
Adolfo was told to “get his affairs in order” because he had 6 months to live. Knowing he’d be leaving a wife and 13 year old child behind, Adolfo went home and made a will. Six weeks later, he sought a second opinion. It wasn’t as bleak, and suddenly his thoughts of impending death became hope of survival.
But, transplant specialists in Ontario said he was unsuitable for a transplant because the tumours in his liver had grown too large. It was a prognosis his friends, family and even his physician refused to accept. They scoured the Internet and contacted international experts.
British doctors told Flora his best shot at beating the cancer would be a liver transplant from a living donor. His brother, Dr. Peter Flora (shown left) agreed without hesitation. The operation was a success, but Adolfo’s fight wasn’t over. Ontario Health refused to pay for the treatment because Ontario specialists had rejected Flora as a transplant candidate.
In a 2007 court ruling, the judges said the Canadian government does not have to do everything possible to save the lives of its citizens in every circumstance.