From the archives …
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I came across this article which you might like read: http://www.bradenton.com/2011/12/01/3694642/transplant-candidates-seek-best.html. It describes a study that reached the conclusion that: “Liver transplantation candidates want to be involved in decisions regarding quality of the donor organ, and many are reluctant to accept organs with a higher risk of failure, according to research by U-M (University of Michigan) physicians and experts.”
Well, when I first read this my somewhat sarcastic side immediately responded: Duh. Who would want to receive an organ that was not the best possible. Then my responsible self took over. The concept of “best possible” does indeed have to factor in, depending on how sick sick you might be getting.
But there are a couple of comments found that I think are very important. The first is that patients in the past have had very little discussion regarding the quality of the donated organ found for them. Should they have more of a say? It’s their life, their risk. Or do they put their full trust in their team knowing that they will do the very best to do the very best. As I’ve stated before here, I am a firm believer that the patient and family need to be a fully informed part of their team. What do you think?
My second comment is that I am willing to bet that any one living on a organ transplant waiting list, if given a choice, would not choose a sub-optimal organ for themselves. It’s just not about livers.
All this again points to the fundamental problem – as the waiting lists continues to grow, the number of viable organs available simply does not meet the need. That’s why I cheer any organ donation awareness efforts and find hope in the developing technology that maybe can make those less than grade A organs better.