The surgeon who gave Apple CEO Steve Jobs a liver transplant has spoken up about his most famous patient.
In an article published by Bloomberg News on Friday, James Eason of Methodist University Hospital said that medical ethics prevented him from speaking specifically on any individual patient, but he did say Jobs is “a special person ... really a genuinely nice person.”
Eason had not mentioned Jobs except one time previously, when in a written statement released after questions were raised about the ethics of the transplant. The surgeon said he had indeed treated the Apple founder and that he was deserving of the transplant based on established treatment criteria that mandate that organs go to the sickest patient.
In the article, Eason expounded on his theory of medicine:
Eason said he will only perform a liver transplant on a neuroendocrine tumor patient when certain that he can eliminate all the spreading cancer. His results with these patients have been about the same as those with other liver-cancer sufferers, about 70% of whom have healthy organs five years after surgery, he said.
Jobs had suffered from a rare form of pancreatic cancer previously. It's not clear if the liver transplant performed had anything to do with a recurrence of the earlier cancer or aftereffects of Jobs's treatment
Jobs and Apple did not comment on the report.
In a separate video companion piece, Eason denied Jobs had "gamed the system" by traveling to Tennesee for the transplant. "Some people would leave Tennessee to go to California or somewhere else to seek treatment. Now we have people coming from California to Tennessee" Eason told Bloomberg.