Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Transplant Headlines

There's been numerous news items recently and here are a few selected organ donation and transplant headlines from around the world.

Woman must raise $15,000 to even be put on organ transplant list
This article in the Danville (Virginia) Register highlights the plight of a patient in desperate need of a lung and liver transplant. However, due to her modest financial circumstances she must raise $15,000 just to be put on the transplant waiting list. Read the full story.

Drive for organ donations prompts criticism (California).
The local case against a transplant surgeon comes as donation agencies nationwide intensify their efforts.

As criminal proceedings move forward against a Bay Area transplant surgeon charged with trying to hasten a potential organ donor’s death at a San Luis Obispo hospital, no one thinks the case is typical.

But it comes as transplant advocates are becoming increasingly aggressive in their efforts to procure hearts, livers, kidneys and other organs in the hope of saving more of the thousands of desperate Americans who die, having languished on waiting lists.

It represents the worst fear of some doctors, nurses and medical ethicists — the extreme end of a spectrum of practices that are raising alarm in hospital wards, emergency rooms and intensive care units around the country. Read the full story.

Court backs ministry directive to prevent organ sales abroad
The Jerusalem Post in Israel reports on a directive issued by Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Avi Yisraeli forbidding the health funds from financing the sale of transplant organs abroad received legal backing on Monday from the High Court of Justice.

The ruling was described by the ministry as a "signal of normative values at the highest level" that could serve as a precedent on the issue, even regarding possible Knesset legislation in the future.

According to the ministry, the ruling stated that the marketing of organs for transplant, including for money, which encourages their sale by people who are in distress, is morally wrong. Read the full story.

Special band
From the Burlington County Times (Philadelphia area) comes this heartwarming story of a life being transformed by an organ transplant.

Kim Montalvo wants people to know that dreams really can come true.

Anyone who doubts that notion can look to her as living proof, she said. It has been almost seven years since she received the kidney transplant that vastly improved her quality of life. That surgery came after a long time of uncertainty spent on an organ donor list, while undergoing regular dialysis treatment. With Montalvo's condition deteriorating due to kidney disease, a transplant was her only hope.

But, for the Mount Laurel resident, a hope of receiving a donor kidney wasn't her only dream to come true.

After being on dialysis for four years and facing other serious health problems, including dropping down to 87 pounds at one point, Montalvo is now in good health and following her longtime desire to sing professionally. As the lead singer in the Special K Band — the “K” stands for kidney — she is sharing her dream of making music with Daniel Caruso, a drummer and backup singer.

He also happens to be her kidney donor. Read the full article.

Organ donors band together
The SVG Tribune from SAn Gabriel, California has a report on a group that offers a shorter waiting list for organ transplants but so far none of the 10,000 members has been declared brain-dead to qualify as an organ donor.

Cameron Akrami of Glendora and Madelon Peck of Altadena joined LifeSharers for one main reason: so that if another member died while they needed an organ donation, Akrami and Peck would be at the top of the list to receive the benefits.

It's a morbid description, but the charity seeks to reward postmortem generosity: All the members agree to donate their organs upon their death, with preference given to anyone in the group who needs them.

LifeSharers has never been put to the test - since forming in 2002, none of its 10,000 members has been declared brain dead, the main way organs can be preserved long enough for donation.

Nevertheless, the group's membership grows every year, and has about 50 members in the greater San Gabriel Valley, including residents of Pasadena, Glendora, La Habra, Diamond Bar, South Pasadena, Covina, San Dimas and several other local cities.

While some established state and federal organ donation coordinators do not endorse the organization, members are big boosters. Read the complete article.

Understanding India’s Kidney Bazaar has a comphrensive look at the practice of selling one's kidney in India. Although laws have been passed to prevent the commercial sale of organs, they go largely ignored and the practice continues. Read the full story.

No comments: