FORTUNE — Dr. James Eason, the Memphis surgeon who performed Steve Jobs’ liver transplant in 2009 — and later bought the Memphis house where Jobs convalesced — allowed Apple (AAPL) outside counsel to pay his taxes and utilities for nearly two years.
That revelation came at the end of Southern Transplant, Marc Perrusquia’s front page story Thursday in the Memphis Commercial Advocate.
Perrusquia’s piece paints a vivid picture of the life-saving operation, although it takes most of its details about Jobs from Walter Isaacson biography — starting the article’s first paragraph:
Even the questions Perrusquia raises about the propriety of the procedure have been asked and answered — by the doctor himself:
- How did Jobs move to the top of the transplant line? “[He was] the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available,” Eason said in 2009.
- If Jobs was so sick (he would die two and a half years later), how did Eason justify giving him a liver? “Following the transplant, he came out with the iPad, and the new iPhone and presented the Cloud,” Eason told WMC-TV after Jobs’ death. “No telling what else is still in the works that he thought of after that time.”
I suppose a similar argument could be made if any other person perceived to be of high value to society — the President, say — needed a transplant. But that’s all the more reason to keep the financial arrangements squeaky clean.
“It’s a fair question,” Eason said, assuring local commissioners there was ‘absolutely not’ any deal cut to secure a liver for Jobs.
But according to the Commercial Appeal, Eason didn’t tell commissioners everything he knew.
Not the most earth-shaking revelation. But at least one bioethicist, New York University’s Arthur Caplan, finds the arrangement “troubling.”
LINK: Southern Transplant: How Steve Jobs got the liver he needed in Memphis (subscription required). Thanks to Financial Alchemist‘s Turley Muller for spotting it.