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Living Organ Donations: Not Always Heart Warming Human Interest Stories

Yep, I just borrowed my blog title from Deborah Shelton’s latest article on living donors. Deborah is a fabulous reporter, formerly with the St. Louis Dispatch and now The Chicago Tribune, who teaches other journalists how to see through the press releases and smoke-blowing to get to the ‘real’ issues. Her 2005 articles in the St. Louis Dispatch about the lack of care given living donors spawned a 2006 CNN program called “CNN Present: Body Parts”, soliciting opinions from all sides and revealing some disturbing information about our current transplant system. (There are refences to this program on the LD101 website).

Deborah’s latest details Mid-America Transplant Service’s first unrelated donation (sometimes referred to as an altruistic or good samaritan donors).  The kidney donor, Laura Giese, endured a painful and life threatening injury to her pancreas, for which she was billed then ignored by the transplant center. This experienced provoked Shelton to procure a Kaiser Family Foundation grant and research into the state of living organ donation in this US, which proved to be a not-pleasant picture.

Read it for yourself on

PS You can find Deborah’s St. Louis Dispatch articles at librarysearch or most likely, your local library newspaper database (They have these things called computers in most libraries these days, in case you didn’t know….)

One reply on “Living Organ Donations: Not Always Heart Warming Human Interest Stories”

Really good stuff – it's great to see a journalist not only care about her craft but also care about reporting the truth, especially when the truth is not something people want to readily accept.

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