Sunday, August 30, 2009

Misc. organ transplant links

The links below, which I collected over some time but never turned into blog posts, all have something interesting to say about transplantation.

Should We Legalize the Market for Human Organs? An NPR debate among Sally Satel, Amy Friedman, and Lloyd Cohen (arguing for), and James Childress, Frank Delmonico, and David Rothman (arguing against).

Lingering myths discourage organ donation from American Medical News:
"Only 38% of licensed drivers have joined their states' organ donor registries, with many deterred by long-held misconceptions about how the transplant system works, according to poll results released in April."

Organ donations decline with economy from the Miami Herald.
The numbers of organ donors is down, and experts say one reason may be the recession. But "Because of legislative action, Floridians starting in July will be able to register online to be an organ donor at ."

In the Kidney Trade: Seller Beware
"Need a kidney? You may be able to buy one in Pakistan, which has become one of the world’s largest “kidney bazaars,” according to an article published in the May-June issue of The Hastings Center Report, a bioethics journal.
But who sells their kidneys, and what becomes of these people afterwards? The article, by two doctors and a psychologist from Karachi, paints an ugly picture of the kidney business and challenges the argument made by some that selling organs is a great financial boon to the poor and that they are grateful for the chance to do it. "

A Better Way to Get a Kidney Daniel Rose in a NY Times OpEd proposes we shift to "opt out" for deceased donors.

National Paired Donation Network (Steve Woodle) does an exchange in Pittsburgh: Kidney exchange benefits boy, 5, and woman

Larissa MacFarquhar: Paying for Kidneys
Megan McArdle: Department of Bizarre Arguments

"Exploitation" of the Poor is a Poor Reason to Ban Organ Markets from the Volokh Conspiracy

Milford men take part in four-way kidney swap (when we helped start NEPKE, only pairwise exchanges were initially feasible, but NEPKE became a pioneer in including 3- and 4-way exchanges in its optimization algorithm...)

Britain's only saviour sibling twins: At the age of two, little do they know it but Amy and Anthony Maguire are Britain's only 'saviour sibling' twins, created to be donors for their sick older brother.
Bone marrow donation requires a perfect match.
"The twins were born after IVF treatment was used to select embryos which are a match for their brother Connor so that blood taken from their umbilical cord at birth may one day be used to offer him life-saving treatment."

Organ donation to get halachic approval
A uniquely Israeli obstacle to organ donation wends its way towards resolution:
"Chief Rabbinate tries to encourage religious public to become organ donors by resolving halachic quandaries surrounding process, issuing special donor card "

Public call for organ donations (China Daily), and
China Announces Voluntary Organ Donor System (NY Times)
CD: "China launched a national organ donation system yesterday in a bid to gradually shake off its long-time dependence on executed prisoners as a major source of organs for transplants and as part of efforts to crack down on organ trafficking."...
"Currently about one million people in China need organ transplants each year while only 1 percent receive one, official statistics show.
Only about 130 people on the mainland have signed up to donate their organs since 2003, according to research on the promotion of organ donation after death by professor Chen Zhonghua with the Institute of Organ Transplantation of Tongji Hospital."...
"China issued an organ transplant law in 2007 that bans organ trafficking and only allows donations from living people to blood relatives and spouses, plus someone considered "emotionally connected."
However, organ middlemen have been faking documents in order to make a person who is desperately in need of money be considered "emotionally connected" to the recipients, reports said.
Living transplants increased to 40 percent of total transplants from 15 percent in 2006, Chen Zhonghua said.
"That's one of the daunting tasks facing us as we try to end the organ trade by establishing this system," Huang noted.
Other goals include preventing organ tourism, improving transplant quality, better defining donors' rights and satisfying patients' needs for transplants in an ethical manner."

NYT: "At least one million people in China need organ transplants each year, but only about 10,000 receive them, according to government statistics. Dr. Huang said that most of those organs — as high as 65 percent, by some estimates — are taken from death row inmates after their executions."...
"The practice of harvesting organs from executed Chinese convicts has been widely reported in the past, although it was only confirmed in 2005, by Dr. Huang, at a medical conference in Manila. The government has routinely denied other allegations that prisoners’ organs regularly found their way to the black market, often for sale to wealthy foreigners, and that executions were sometimes scheduled to coincide with the need for a specific organ.
At a news conference in Shanghai held Wednesday to unveil the new organ-donation system, one transplant surgeon was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the taking of organs from convicts was sometimes subject to corruption. "

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