How Did Steve Jobs Get His Liver?
Steve Jobs used his advantages to get a donated liver. Should it have gone to somebody else?
Also in Slate, Farhad Manjoo explains why Steve Jobs won't return to Apple even if his health improves. Annie Lowrey says shareholders deserve more disclosure from Jobs about his health.
But now comes the new report of Jobs' illness, and with it, the unresolved question of whether he should have gotten that liver. We don't know what's ailing him, because he won't say. "My family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy," he pleads.
I hear you, Steve. We're all pulling for you. It's your life and your family. But that liver wasn't yours. Somebody died to make it available. And other people who aren't billionaires may have died on waiting lists so you could have it. What was your cancer situation when you got the transplant? Has the cancer returned? You owe us some answers.
Correction, Jan. 19, 2011: I originally wrote that Jobs "never explained why" he went to Tennessee. But after the article was posted, I found Nicholas Carlson's Business Insider story, which quoted Jobs' comments on this subject at a press conference last year. In these remarks, Jobs confirmed that he went to Tennessee for an easier waiting list. More important, Jobs attended the press conference to promote the California organ-donor legislation, and Carlson detailed Jobs' role in lobbying for the bill. I've added a paragraph to note this contribution by Jobs. It doesn't erase the questions of inequity and judgment in Jobs' transplant, but it does attest to his character. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.
Photograph of Steves Jobs by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.