99-year-old David Rockefeller Undergoes Sixth Heart Transplant – Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
99-year-old billionaire David Rockefeller has successfully undergone his sixth heart transplant surgery in the last 38 years.
A fake news website started the false report that David Rockefeller has had six heart transplant surgeries.
An article that appeared on the website World News Daily Report claimed that David Rockefeller, an heir to the billion-dollar Rockefeller estate, has had six heart transplants and two kidney transplants over the years:
“His first heart transplant occurred in 1976 after a dramatic car accident led him to suffer a heart attack. He was operated 24 hours later and up and jogging a week later.”
Within days, the fake news report was shared more than 130,000 times on social media. Many people believed that David Rockefeller had actually undergone his sixth heart transplant and argued about whether or not it was right for a rich, 100-year-old man to take a heart from a younger person in need.
But those people missed World News Day Report’s disclaimer. It says that the website is not “responsible for inaccurate information” and assumes “all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles.
This isn’t the first time that David Rockefeller’s health has been at the center of an online hoax, either. Just weeks earlier, a separate false report spread across social media that David Rockefeller had died:
“At about 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday (April 28, 2015), our beloved business man David Rockefeller passed away. David Rockefeller was born on June 12, 1915 in New York. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”
The debate about wealthy people “cutting in line” to receive an organ transplant isn’t a new one. In 2009, Steve Jobs was criticized after he traveled to Tennessee for a liver transplant on short notice, ABC News reports:
“Jobs couldn’t pay for an organ. Nor could he pay to cut the queue. But what someone with Jobs’ resources could do, according to liver transplant surgeons and ethicists, is to use money and mobility to improve the odds either by going to an area of the country where there are more organ donors, or by signing up at multiple transplant centers.”
Dick Cheney drew similar criticism when he underwent a heart transplant in 2013. Cheney had waited on a transplant list for 20 months before the surgery, but some argued that he was too old (71 at the time) to receive a donor’s heart.
The United Network for Organ Sharing, the non-profit that maintains the nationwide patient waiting list, often considers a patient’s ability to pay for a transplant when deciding where to place an available organ.