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Liver Donor Living Donor Risks

Living Liver Donor Dies

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/burlington/articles/2010/06/12/at_the_lahey_a_stunning_rare_tragedy/?page=full

I am saddened by this useless death for the obvious reasons, but I’m also furious with surgeons and hospital personnel that express sympathy in one breathe then minimize the tragedy in the next.

“This should not stop the movement of doing the right thing for patients,’’ Dr. Giuliano Testa, director of liver transplantation at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said. “We should take this as a single episode and not a reason to completely destroy the living donor activity in the US.’’

This = The hospital caused the death of a healthy, generous person by cutting them open and removing 60% of their liver. Testa, recognizing the full horror of the situation, can’t even say it out loud so he refers to it as “This“. Pathetic.

the right thing = transplants, of course.

patients = would-be recipients.

So the right thing for patients = we must not let the fact that we’ve killed and maimed people needlessly cuz dang it, obtaining organs for would-be recipients is more important. Besides, the donors are ‘willing’, so who are we to argue. After all, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omlet, right?

“Our deepest sympathies are with the families involved,’’ Dr. David Barrett, the clinic’s chief executive, said in an e-mail to employees. “Our thoughts today are also with the surgical team. They are extraordinary caregivers dedicated to healing patients even in the most trying circumstances. While we are saddened by this loss, we must continue our mission to offer life-saving treatment options like this to our patients.’’

Yes, the poor, poor surgical team. How horrible this must be for them.

They are extraordinary caregivers dedicated to healing patients = Again, ‘patients’ refers to recipients because living donors receive NO benefit (or healing) from being a donor.

… even in the most trying of cirucmstances = What trying circumstances? Prospective living donors are supposed to be evaluated to rule out any and all risk factors. Medical professionals are obligated to minimize harm. Is Barrett saying they didn’t, or is he simply saying that the death of living donor is really inconvenient to his almighty surgical team’s pursuit of doing transplants?

The donor’s family will be dealing with this catastrophe for years to come. I cannot begin to express my sympathy for them. My anger is reserved for a transplant industry that forges ahead without regard to the wreckage they leave in their wake. Just once I’d like see them express true remorse without justification or denial. Every news story on every donor death that makes the press (many are covered up) will express the same sentiment. Every center has no living donor deaths – until they do.

Dr. James Markmann, chief of transplant surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital is right about one thing: you do enough living donor transplants and eventually donors will be maimed and die. The question is – what is the transplant industry going to do about it?

4 replies on “Living Liver Donor Dies”

Given the obvious tunnel vision of the medical profession on the subject of organ transplantation, I think the only solution to a true tragedy like the death of this living donor is for everybody who is waiting for a transplant to just flat-out refuse to go this route.

But then, I think even getting an organ from a so-called deceased donor should be viewed as something extraordinary and beyond what anyone has a right to expect.

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