Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Misc. organ transplant commentary and news

The Times of London reports on how one deceased donor can donate many organs: How one organ donor can save the lives of nine people
There is a worrying shortage of organ donors — and gaining consent from grieving relatives is a delicate task

A living donor is unhappy with the way they have been treated: The Hypocrisy of OPTN's Committee Goals "UNOS has had the OPTN contract since 1986 (yet they cared so little for us they didn't even collect LD social security numbers til 1994); they've had policy to collect follow-up data on living donors since 2000 (but the transplant centers were 50-80% non-compliant), yet it wasn't until 2005 they decided it should be "clinically relevant and validated". And since 2005, independent researchers, UNOS officials and SRTR personnel have all criticized UNOS' data collection as 'woefully inadequate', and worthless as far as any meaningful analysis goes. "

A columnist quotes Adam Smith in support of making compensation for donors legal: Dying people shouldn’t be beggars "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. ... Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens."
—Adam Smith, "Wealth of Nations"

A living donor is declined by a hospital: Kidney Donation Canceled Because Donor and Recipient ‘Bonded’ and THE MATCH (UN)MAKERS: Why did Einstein halt life-saving transplant? both report a hospital's decision not to accept a donation from a donor who had met his potential recipient via the matchingdonors.com website. The WSJ piece says, by way of of explanation: "As the WSJ has reported, hospitals may be reluctant to agree to this kind of altruistic donation, fearing that donors may have been paid or that participants won’t make it through the rigorous psychological evaluation process, or because the practice sidesteps the official organ waiting lists."

Alex Tabarrok at MR reports on Changing Views on Organ Prohibition and reports that the anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes, who has studied black markets for organs, is in favor of careful trials of ways to ethically compensate organ donors.

California, New York mull changes to organ donor laws
"A California bill may soon create a living donor registry -- the first for any state.
Spurred by Apple co-founder and transplant recipient Steve Jobs, the bill has gained support from major politicos, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and is expected to land on his desk this summer.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, a far more sweeping transplant bill would make every person an organ donor who doesn't opt out. This would create an organ donation system in New York similar to the ones used in several European countries, but the measure is already facing opposition."
The California bill seems to be aimed primarily at promoting kidney exchange...

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