Saturday, January 31, 2009


Many of you may, or may not have noticed the last comment on my Thursday 13 post. If you didn't see it, don't bother going to look, I actually deleted it.
I respect Dave's right to an opinion on the matter, but as a medical professional I cannot endorse what it was he was suggesting. Basically, for those of you who missed it, it boiled down to this. People who have agreed to being organ donors would get organs before people who have not signed up for organ donation.
He kind of lost me at "you can even sign up minor children".

Organs are on a NEED basis. Organ receiving should know no gender, race, or any other bias. And that includes who has agreed to donate or not. Yes we have a problem with shortage of donors, but how would one take an organ and give it to a declared donor, first? What about the other person whose need is greater? We let them die because they didn't sign up to donate an organ? And what MD is going to agree to
A- give this organization the organ first
B- perform the surgery, knowing that somewhere, there is probably someone in greater need.

Truthfully, I am not even sure that this is legal, and on the up and up. Sure, there was a website. Anyone can have a website.
So, I took the comment down. I've been thinking about it for days, and I even discussed it with my co workers. They have the same questions I do.
And Dave? More power to you for trying to solve the Organ Donation problem. But I cannot really have my few blog readers thinking that your solution is doable. Because right now it isn't. I also feel it is unethical.
Comment Moderation is on for this post, because I think this is a very sensitive subject....


Mary said...

I agree that a need basis is the only ethical solution, but I don't even think Dave's solution would be remotely feasible. What person wh needs an organ wouldn't sign up to be a donor if that put them closer to the top of the list.

Every person in need of an organ would volunteer to be a donor, and then you'd be back to square one anyway.

My expressions LIVE said...

I am always willing to donate my organ. It is vital to others.

Kolekona said...

The SOLUTION to the severe shortage of organ donation is It's an encouragement-based incentive scenario which offers insurance and redeemable credit for participating in health, career and service milestones which build up this nation. No person will ever want for a transplant ... and there's no unreasonable waiting. It has been thoroughly vetted by a well-known Fortune 100 insurance corporation, who put the program through two actuarial science analyses! The federal government will be looking at it soon. A billionaire venture capitalist will also be reviewing it soon. 2009 is the year for startup/operation.


Unknown said...

You ignore the central point -- giving organs first to registered organ donors will save more lives because it will convince more people to donate. Shouldn't the main goal of the transplant system be to save as many lives as possible?

mielikki said...

No Dave, I do not miss the point. THE most important aspect of organ donation is to SAVE lives, no discrimination needed. People can lie, and change their minds about donation, manipulate the system, and generally be asshats enough to get the organ away from the person who truly has the need. YES there are a lack of donors, and it is a problem, but we cannot be taking organs away from those who need them the most, just because they have not formalized a plan to donate after they are gone. I believe we are going to have to agree to disagree on this point.

Anonymous said...

Organ donation IS a very sensitive topic, I agree. I think part of the reason there is a shortage of donors is the idea that donors are often left to die if in a situation where saving them might be a little difficult, this way from one death many others can live on this person's organs. I know this is very unethical. I don't know that there is any truth to this idea, I hope that there isnt. I do know that it's a big fear for some that ARE willing to donate their organs upon death; upon NATURAL death, and have been scared into thinking "Organ Donor" on your license is equivalent with "Do Not Save"

Kolekona said...

I challenge your assumption gigidiaz -- if it is based on fact, please cite your references, otherwise it will stand as hearsay or another urban legend. The life-saving team -- in ER usually -- and the transplant team are completely separate. The transplant team is not 'at the ready' -- they need to be gathered at the hospital to perform their specialization. Repeating urban legends gives them a life of their own.

The severe shortage of organ donation is due to two unique situations: 1) The altruism-only model; and 2) Federal law which makes all forms of organ transfer illegal except altruism-only. This combination crushes all other potentially successful methods AND creates an international black market in the vacuum. Until incentives are allowed, the severe shortage will continue and 7,200 people will die every year! Enough is enough.

Daryl said...

Donating organs to save lives is the bottomline ... or did I miss something?

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