Summarizing the death of a 17-year-old Armenian-American girl who was initially refused transplant by her health insurance company, filmmaker Michael Moore states on his website that “justice delayed is justice denied.”

The death of Nataline Sarkisyan from Glendale California has sparked national outrage and the Sarkisyan family’s celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, another Armenian-American, says he wants the insurance company, Cigna, charged with manslaughter.

According to the Associated Press via Washington Post:


They took my daughter away from me,” said Nataline Sarkisyan’s father, Krikor, with tears in his eyes at a news conference at his lawyer’s office.

The Philadelphia-based insurer had initially refused to pay for the procedure, saying it was experimental. The company reversed the decision Thursday as about 150 nurses and community members rallied outside of its office in Glendale in suburban Los Angeles. Nataline died just hours later.

The insurer “maliciously killed” Nataline because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, said family attorney Mark Geragos. He did not say when or in what court he would file the civil lawsuit.

Geragos also said he would ask the district attorney’s office to press murder or manslaughter charges against Cigna, an allegation that one legal expert described as difficult to prove and “a little bit of grandstanding.”


Few realize that the United States is the only western country without universalized health coverage.  But even those who have health coverage often become victims of privatized health insurance companies.  Michael Moore argues in his movie Sicko, that I watched last week, that insurance companies are like any other business.  They “lose money” every time they approve a medical procedure.

I myself had to get the approval of my insurance company couple of days ago to get an important health test.  Although the results are not too bad, had the insurance company not approved the test I’d not find out my situation and not get a treatment.  Why should an insurance company approve a medical test assigned by my doctor?

The issue of health care will become a major, if not the major, issue of the presidential elections.  It seems most Americans are over the “communistic” paranoia in regards to reformed health care.  I am not sure if universal health care is the solution, but there must be reforms.

On a not so important note, it is interesting that Moore’s film had a reference to another Armenian-American, Dr. Kevorkian, and that Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian’s famous music was played in the film.