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What is the Donda West Law?

Generally speaking, plastic surgery complications are not as common as we’d think. According to a review done in 2018, out of the 25,000 surgeries done, less than 1% of cases go wrong. The death rate for cosmetic surgery is at 1 out of 50,000. But did you hear about the Donda West Law and why it was named after Kanye West’s mother? 

The Donda West Law is an Act that requires patients to undergo a physical examination and be cleared before undergoing cosmetic surgery. The law was passed thirteen years after Donda West, Kanye West’s mother, died a day after her surgery in 2007.

Who was Donda West?

On July 12, 1949, Donda West was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Portwood and Lucille Williams. West studied in a local high school before attending Virginia Union University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English. She then earned her master’s degree at Atlanta University and then proceeded to earn her doctor’s degree at Auburn University.

Before becoming her son’s momager, West was a professor of English at Clark Atlanta University and became the head of the English department at Chicago State University.

West met and married Kanye’s father, Ray West, a former Black Panther, actor, and photojournalist. The two divorced in 1980, leaving Kanye West, who was just three years old, in her custody.

Despite having a great professional life and earning well from teaching, West left her job to focus on her son’s career. She also published two books, Donda’s Rules and Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar.

West was incredibly supportive of her son, often seen attending events with Kanye. She continued to be Kanye’s manager until her untimely death in 2007 due to coronary artery disease. (Source: News Unzip)

What Happened to Donda West After Her Surgery?

West underwent several cosmetic surgery procedures a day before her passing, including an abdominal tuck, breast surgery, and liposuction. After the procedures, she requested to be discharged and go home to rest.

The next day, on November 10, 2007, she complained about the severe pain she felt in her chest and of a sore throat. She asked a friend to bring her to the hospital, but it was too late. The autopsy revealed that West was suffering from a pre-existing coronary artery disease. Her surgeon was completely unaware of her condition. (Source: News Unzip)

Her passing was seen as a result of negligence. Because of this, the Donda West Law was drafted. The law was enacted by January 2020. It reinforces the need for cosmetic surgeons to obtain the complete medical history of their patients and require them to undergo a physical exam to ensure they are healthy enough to have the procedure done at least 30 days before. (Source: The Natural Result)

Was the Donda West Law Necessary?

According to some cosmetic surgeons, the Donda West Law isn’t likely to improve patient safety. The law covers protocol that is already a common practice and is thus redundant and pointless. 

In addition, the Donda West Law states that violating the provision would not constitute as a crime, and no charges can be filed.

Requiring a physical exam before surgery, to check a patient’s vital signs and other markers of health, as well as collecting personal and family health history is so fundamental as part of medical training and medical care that to require it by law seems to be moot.

Dr. Michael McGuire, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

(Source: CNN)

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