The Unintended Consequences of the Organ Donation Regulations

If people could buy organs from donors, there would be more organs available and the value of each organ would go down. With more organs available, there would be a lot less pressure to harvest any possible organs that were available, and I assume fewer cases such as this:

After a long fight with a degenerative disease, Ruben Navarro appeared close to death. So the hospital caring for him alerted the local transplant network, which rushed a team to the medical center to try to salvage the 25-year-old's organs.

But as Navarro hung on, tension mounted in the operating room of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif. With time slipping away, one of the transplant surgeons ordered repeated doses of the narcotic morphine and the sedative Ativan, jokingly calling the drugs "candy," according to police reports. Navarro eventually died, but too late for his organs to be useful.

Horrified nurses complained, prompting multiple investigations. In July, prosecutors charged Hootan Roozrokh with trying to hasten Navarro's death, marking the first time a surgeon has faced criminal charges in a transplant case.

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Blogger Dave Undis said...

If people could buy and sell organs, thousands of lives would be saved every year. But how can we reduce the organ shortage when buying and selling organs is illegal? It's simple -- allocate donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to donate. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

9/16/2007 8:53 PM  

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