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July 26th, 2010
When a Blind National Health Care Decision Looks Like

 A confessed Bronx wife-killer who destroyed his liver in a half-cocked suicide attempt blew past nearly 2,000 New Yorkers on the state's transplant list to get a new organ, The Post has learned.

"It's an outrage -- a complete waste on a man who obviously had no regard for life," said a friend of Jordania Sarita, 36, who cops say was stabbed to death by husband Johnny Concepcion on July 5.

"The system is designed to save as many people as possible," said Anne Paschke, spokeswoman for the United Network of Organ Sharing, which is responsible for organ allocation in the United States.

According to federal guidelines, a person can be placed on a transplant list only by a surgeon from a transplant center. The hospital's transplant team then does an evaluation, based solely on medical criteria, to determine the patient's "status" or rank on the list.

Doctors do psychological, diagnostic and blood tests to determine list placement.

Social factors -- such as wealth, fame, arrest or criminal records -- do not figure into the decision on whether to give someone an organ. That includes someone like Concepcion, who investigators said confessed to killing his wife.

Concepcion, 43, left New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center with his brand-new liver on Friday -- and went straight to jail.

Sarita's mother, Maria, told The Post: "There are people that wait years for a liver transplant. There are children on the waiting lists, people who work hard.

"And this guy who killed my daughter, who killed the mother of his children, then tried to take his life, gets priority over them? It doesn't seem fair."

Earlier this month, Sarita -- married to Concepcion for 18 years and described by friends and family as a vivacious, devoted mom of three -- was stabbed 15 times in her Needham Avenue home.

Witnesses said they saw Concepcion fleeing the scene on foot.

Police launched a manhunt for him, and two days later, family members and cops said, Concepcion sent a text message in Spanish from Dyckman Pier saying, "To the members of the family, I hope you can forgive me."

He then took rat poison, which destroyed his liver. A witness saw him collapse and called 911.

Maria Sarita, Jordania's mother, told The Post that her daughter had been starting a new life without Concepcion after enduring years of his jealousy and abuse.

When Jordania was pregnant with her second child, her mom said, Johnny hit her after seeing her hug an old male friend.

"He would beat her and the next day bring her breakfast in bed and apologize," said Maria, who has temporary custody of the couple's children: two teenage boys and an 11-year-old girl.

 


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