Who is John Q. Archibald Really, and How Long Was He Behind Bars?

In a 2002 film starring Denzel Washington, a fictional character named John Q. Archibald appears. In order to secure a heart transplant for his ailing kid, the main character of the film holds an emergency room hostage. There isn’t a genuine John Q. He did not actually commit a crime and did not serve any jail time.

In the film, fact and fiction

In the film, John’s kid requires a heart transplant, and despite his lack of financial resources, he goes to great lengths to ensure that his son receives the treatment he needs. The plausibility of someone committing the crime of holding someone hostage in exchange for medical assistance was debated in relation to this scenario.

Even the director and lead actor of the film stated in an interview that they believed John’s actions in the film to be severe. Since people in the actual world have various ways to pay for medical treatment even if they don’t have insurance, this is a valid assumption.

Category 2 Felony

Despite being a fictional scenario, John’s acts in the film John Q are illegal in the real world. In the film, the main character was accused of kidnapping, armed robbery, and attempted murder.

In Illinois, kidnapping is a Class 2 felony, and he was found guilty of it. If John Q. were a real person, he would have been subject to a sentence of three to seven years in prison. The judge’s final decision, nevertheless, may be influenced by a number of variables.

A Heart Transplant’s Price

A heart transplant is an expensive treatment that can cost more than $1 million to complete. Patients must pay for anti-rejection medicine, transportation, and living expenses in addition to the cost of the procedure.

Patients have several options for paying for these expenses, including commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, advocacy groups, nonprofits, and fundraising efforts. Sometimes they are able to cover the entire cost of the surgery. Some of the expenses might have to be covered by other people. m

Eagerly awaiting a heart transplant

In the movie, the physicians locate a suitable heart rather fast. Before a heart is available, some patients may have to wait more than a year. At that point, as there is so little time left to finish the process, the surgery occurs as soon as possible.

If they live far from the facility, they might even choose to remain at or close to the hospital throughout the waiting period. They must stay a short distance from the hospital after the procedure for at least the first few weeks.

A True Life John Q

Even though the movie is a work of fiction, Texas saw a similar incident. In order to see his kid who was on life support in 2015, George Pickering used a firearm to force his way inside.

He was worried that the hospital team was removing the young guy from life support and harvesting his organs for transplantation far too rapidly. The father turned himself in to police, was accused of a state jail felony, and was sentenced as a result of his conduct. The son lived.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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