Organ Transplants

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persephone
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Organ Transplants

Post by persephone »

Last night I watched a programme on BBC2 that showed doctors having to make life and death decisions about peoples lives, as they do every day. In this case though it involved more than just one person, as they had to decide if these people were suitable for organ transplant or not, and also where on the waiting list they should be put.

It shocked me at how judgemental I was about this, as there were three people, each a seperate case and were not competing for the same liver. A man who had attempted suicide, a 14-year-old girl and a recovering alcoholic.

As it happened the recovering alcoholic, recovered without needing a new liver, the young girl recieved one, as did the man who had attempted suicide.

The young girl was the only one I felt deserving, due to her innocence, and the recovering alcoholic, although the risk would always be there that he could relapse.

The guy who attempted suicide, was almost dead as they decided, and was put to the top of the list with 7 others left waiting. As it happened within 2 hours a liver became available and the transplant took place.

The first thing the man said when he awoke was "why did you dial 999" this to his wife.

My heart sank, when he was released from the medical hospital he was sent to a mental health hospital to treat his clinical depression, after 2 weeks he throw himself off a cliff.

Below are statistics for the UK, I don't know what it's like in other countries, but I felt that if the man had wanted to die so much that he decided to take his own life, then that should have been respected and the liver given to one of the other 7 who wanted to live.

Currently in the UK, there are 6,000 people that are on the transplant waiting lists, which increases every year.

Approximately one third of those waiting will die whilst waiting for a transplant.

The need for organs in the Asian community is significantly higher than that of the national average.

Asian people are more likely to die of kidney failure.

Due to lack of organs only 25 solid organ transplants per million of the population are carried out each year



I realise as I said at the beginning how judgemental I have been here, any other views on this subject?
Bad Girls have very high standards, but they love you even if you sometimes fall short.
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Peg
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Post by Peg »

I agree. The girl should have been #1, then the recovering alcoholic, then the man who atttempted suicide.
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Bill Sikes
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Post by Bill Sikes »

letha wrote: As it happened the recovering alcoholic, recovered without needing a new liver, the young girl recieved one, as did the man who had attempted suicide.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... iver14.xml

Very interesting possibilities.

letha wrote: I realise as I said at the beginning how judgemental I have been here, any other views on this subject?


Perhaps transplants should be denied to people under a certain age limit, or over a certain limit. Perhaps they should be denied to people with criminal convictions, or smokers, or people with squinty eyes or body odour.... it's very difficult to discriminate on grounds of worth rather than need IMO.
A Karenina
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Organ Transplants

Post by A Karenina »

Letha, I totally get what you're saying. In fact, I'm even more mean - I wouldn't have given the liver to the alcoholic either (assuming he/she was still actively drinking). That's my personal view. It makes me grateful I don't have to make these types of decisions. :(



Politically, in the pursuit of a just world, I agree with Bill on this one. We cannot allow doctors or anyone else to begin deciding who has "worth" or "value".



On the bright side, doctors are at the beginning stages of being able to create organs using a person's cells. I know one man here in the US had a thumb grown for him. Because they are using the person's own DNA to create these organs, the risk of rejection is dramatically reduced. I'll try to hunt for the article, if you're interested.



Although this kind of medical science is yet another double-edged sword, it could truly alleviate the tragedies like the young girl.
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persephone
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Post by persephone »

Politically, in the pursuit of a just world, I agree with Bill on this one. We cannot allow doctors or anyone else to begin deciding who has "worth" or "value".
I agree, but on this programme this is what you saw. I'm realistic enough to realise there has to be a some form of assessment and some way that they decide who goes where on the list.

The OD he had taken had already damaged his liver beyond capable function, hense him being first on the list.

You actually heard the doctors disscussing how he was a well educated man, who was involved in care work and knew about govenment.

Perhaps transplants should be denied to people under a certain age limit, or over a certain limit. Perhaps they should be denied to people with criminal convictions, or smokers, or people with squinty eyes or body odour.... it's very difficult to discriminate on grounds of worth rather than need IMO.Taking things to the extreme, but they are always talking about discriminating against people who self inflict, knowing the damage that they cause their bodies.
Bad Girls have very high standards, but they love you even if you sometimes fall short.
A Karenina
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Organ Transplants

Post by A Karenina »

letha wrote: I agree, but on this programme this is what you saw. I'm realistic enough to realise there has to be a some form of assessment and some way that they decide who goes where on the list.



The OD he had taken had already damaged his liver beyond capable function, hense him being first on the list.

You actually heard the doctors disscussing how he was a well educated man, who was involved in care work and knew about govenment.
Oh YUCK! That's outrageous...but I probably shouldn't be surprised.



letha wrote: Taking things to the extreme, but they are always talking about discriminating against people who self inflict, knowing the damage that they cause their bodies.
Self-inflict...it's a tough topic. Anyone who's ever been addicted to anything can relate to self-inflicters. But at what point does society's responsibility begin and end? I've got my own thoughts on it (naturally, LOL) but would like to hear other views.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

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persephone
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Post by persephone »

Seeing as I'm giving up smoking, I relate to self inflicted issues.

I do see why they bring this up so often though, the cost of health care for the conditions related to smoking and drinking just to name the main two are astronomical.

At the same time govenment is unwilling to ban the products that are the main cause of the conditions because as far as economics are concerned they bring in too much profit, and so continue to ask the companies that produce them to put warning labels on the products. This is the newest idea for alcohol in the UK, we will be seeing health warnings on the labels (just remember to read it before you start drinking).

A smoker who has cancer is perfectly correct to say that they have more than paid for their healthcare treatment in the taxes that have been paid on tabbacco (in respect of the NHS in UK).

Should it be up to society to take resposibility for an idividuals actions though?
Bad Girls have very high standards, but they love you even if you sometimes fall short.
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greydeadhead
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Post by greydeadhead »

letha wrote: Seeing as I'm giving up smoking, I relate to self inflicted issues.

I do see why they bring this up so often though, the cost of health care for the conditions related to smoking and drinking just to name the main two are astronomical.

At the same time govenment is unwilling to ban the products that are the main cause of the conditions because as far as economics are concerned they bring in too much profit, and so continue to ask the companies that produce them to put warning labels on the products. This is the newest idea for alcohol in the UK, we will be seeing health warnings on the labels (just remember to read it before you start drinking).

A smoker who has cancer is perfectly correct to say that they have more than paid for their healthcare treatment in the taxes that have been paid on tabbacco (in respect of the NHS in UK).

Should it be up to society to take resposibility for an idividuals actions though?


An interesting question. Personally I feel that if you choose to do something that you know is harmful to your body like smoke, drink, etc. then you should be held personally responsible for your actions. But as we have seen, it is easier to file suit against the products manufacturers saying that they knew it was bad for you but still recruited you to partake of their product.. as we have seen with the lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Even the Dram shop laws to some effect have impacted the restaruant and bar industry. They have definately driven up insurance costs that owners have to pay. As far as trying to bring this back to the subject of this thread.. if a person needs a heart lung transplant because they were a heavy smoker for years.. and are continuing to smoke despite this.. then they should not be placed highly on the transplant list.. or placed above a non smoker on the list..
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Bill Sikes
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Post by Bill Sikes »

[QUOTE=letha]Seeing as I'm giving up smokingQUOTE]

Don't say things like that!
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persephone
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Post by persephone »

Bill Sikes wrote: [QUOTE=letha]Seeing as I'm giving up smokingQUOTE]

Don't say things like that!
Why ??? :-2
Bad Girls have very high standards, but they love you even if you sometimes fall short.
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Bill Sikes
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Post by Bill Sikes »

letha wrote: Why ???


Positive thinking!

Replace "Seeing as I'm giving up smoking" with "Seeing as I've given up smoking".

"Seeing as I've stopped smoking" may be even better.

How long is it now since you've smoked? 9 days? 8?? 1/2 an hour????
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persephone
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Post by persephone »

A whole 10 days :-6
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