Audio recordings reveal that a New Jersey hospital kept a brain-dead man on life support for months after his heart transplant failed while telling his family he might recover - long after they knew he'd never wake.
Staff at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center actively avoided speaking to Darryl Young's family about removing the 61-ear-old from life support, because doing so would have been bad for their ratings, according to ProPublica's investigation.
'Need to keep him alive til June 30 at a minimum,' said Dr Mark Zucker, director the hospital's heart and lung transplant program in a closed-door meeting last April.
ProPublica obtained recordings and documents that show Dr Zucker and his department were worried about the survival times being reported from their program.
So Darryl became a pawn, despite regulatory - not to mention, ethical - safeguards intended to protect the quality of life and death for patients like him.
Darryl Young (pictured) was 61 when he had a heart transplant surgery last year at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey. He never woke up and probably never will, but the hospital has kept him alive for a year to maintain his ratings, a ProPublica report found
'This is very disingenuous, right? It's very unethical,' one of the doctors in that April meeting said.
The answer, of course, was yes.
When that meeting happened, in April 2019, it had already been about seven months since Darryl had had his heart transplant, on September 21, 2018.
Darryl never woke up.
He was a vegetable from the day of his operation onward.
For months, his family members came and went, a ventilator breathed for Darryl at night, a feeding tube pumped liquefied nutrients into his stomach.
There was no meaningful change in his status, according to medical records obtained by ProPublica.
What did change was Newark Beth Israel's rating as a transplant program.
The hospital which had once boasted being the state's premier facility for transplants was seeing poorer survival times.
Newark Beth Israel's ratings have suffered in recent years and the administrators admitted that if Darryl did not survive a year after his transplant, it could cost them millions of dolalrs
Not only do these ratings entice patients to a program, data