Organ Donation


Euthanasia and Organ Transplants

admin No Comments

This is a very touchy subject here in America. It seems that nobody wants to address the issue. The physicians are still hesitant to consult palliative care. It could be because it represents failure of modern medicine for some. Privately, a lot of people are in favor of euthanasia, or assisted suicide, for chronically ill people. How often have you heard, If one day I am in this or that condition please pull the plug. In some countries, especially in Europe, euthanasia is legal, not without creating controversy thought. One specific country has found a way to make it more compassionate. In Belgium where euthanasia is legal, they use organs from the chronically ill that are deemed good quality for transplantation. Of course, they don’t do that with cancer patients. In a span of three years, from January 2007 to December 2009 they were able to recover 4 lungs suitable for lung transplant according to Dirk van Raemdonck and colleagues. During that span they also recovered kidneys and livers who were good enough for organ transplants.

How does it work?

Obviously, everything happens in a control environment and it works the same way as donation after cardiac death. The patient wishing for euthanasia, who has a non-malignant disorder, is given the drugs by a physician.  Once the heart stops beating, the patient is pronounced on cardiopulmonary criteria by three independent physicians. Then the patient is brought to the OR where they start the surgery to recover the organs.

Even if euthanasia would become legal here in this country, I don’t expect many potential organ donor since those patients, for the most part, have been sick for years and their organs may not be good. But, it is something to keep in mind for the future and will certainly require a comprehensive ethical debate. Not sure we are ready for that here.

Source: Transplantation of lungs: recovered from donors after euthanasia

Is it Time for Kidney Donation with Compensation?

admin No Comments

Some transplantation leaders in the US are starting to push for a compensation system to increase the number of kidney living donation. This is a very ethical debate where both sides of the argument have good points. With a waiting list approaching 90,000 patients hoping to receive a kidney transplant some argue that it is time to implement a compensation system to increase the number of living donation.

For the past 10 years the number of persons waiting for a kidney transplant almost doubled and the actual number of transplantation remained about the same. It has for consequence to dramatically increase the wait time for kidney transplant. Some regions of the US have wait time closing in on 10 years for kidney transplant. Living kidney donation is already legal but is on a voluntary basis and federal laws prohibit any kind of compensation. With treatment of dialysis running in the $70,000 per year per patient some claim money will be saved by transplanting patient faster with the help of a compensation system. Opponents to this system are afraid that people would become kidney donor with the intention of making a quick buck and not thinking about the risks and benefits of the operation.  It also could be an easy way out of debt for some but with unknown long term consequences on finances. Experts against the compensation system also see that as an opportunity for rich to exploit poor and potentially making the system unfair where wealthy patient would bypass patients with less means. In response to this argument the pro-compensation people say that compensation should not be under the form of money but more like free education or other perks like that.

I expect this debate to pick up steam within the next few months as more people are dying everyday while waiting but it will take years before something changes. There are too many variables and questions that need to be answered. What would be the legal age to receive compensation for an organ? Who pays for the compensation? The recipient? The government? The Transplant Center itself? Who will cover the cost of complications for the kidney donors? What should be the total compensation package in $$?  Should it be money or other form? Should deceased donor family be also compensated? Would it open the door to a black market for organs in the US? There are countless of questions that need to be addressed and answered in order to have a fair compensation system in this country. I think it could be possible to have a compensation system fair and equitable as long as the right people are including in the debate. But, it is going to be a long debate and until then the waiting list will keep growing.


Facebook Helping Find Organ Donors

admin No Comments

Early on when Facebook was created it was used to find old friends and stay in contact with people we care but didn’t necessarily have time to call or meet. Nowadays it is used to save peoples lives. Social media have expanded their role and now it goes beyond imagination. Patients waiting for organ transplant now turn toward Facebook in order to increase their pool of potential organ donors. Most of the living donors are giving one of their kidneys. The rest can give a piece of their liver or more rarely a lung in order to save somebody life.

Match on Facebook

Social media allow strangers to get in contact with each other and ask indirectly millions of people if they want to be organ donor. This has happened to a 38 years old man from Seattle who was desperately waiting for kidney transplant. He ended up creating a Facebook page named Damon Kidney, with the help of friends and family, which allowed him to find a perfect match. UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) acknowledges the existence of Social media uses from people looking for living organ donor.


According to the federal government annual report, there is an average of 6,000 living donors who donates a kidney. This number has been steady for the past several years so this is why social media could play a significant role in finding more potential organ donors. The current waiting list for kidney transplant includes more than 90,000 patients and is growing every day. This show you to urge to find more living kidney surprised to find out that healthy sex life is more than great pleasure and ability to have children. It is the best and only way to guarantee natural training of the male heart, lungs, blood vessels and muscles. It is also the most efficient way of restoring male central nervous system. Normal sex life prevents the development of such severe diseases as stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, cancer, neurosis, depression, dementia etc. Now you know that men think the worlds of their erectile function for a reason!