Monday, August 16, 2004

Reaction to Houston man's ad campaign for a liver

Following the success of Todd Krampitz's advertising campaign for a liver, the Associated Press quoted the United Network for Organ Sharing as saying that efforts like his "can create an uneven playing field for individuals on the national waiting list for organs." But the allocation system UNOS runs is already unfair. It gives about 70% of all organs to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

As long as people who refuse to sign a donor card can jump to the front of the waiting list if they need a transplant we'll always have an organ shortage. The solution to the organ shortage is simple -- if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

The Houston Chronicle chimed in with an editorial. While acknowledging that directed donations are legal, it says Mr. Krampitz' solicitation of a donation "poses unsettling ethical questions."

Among the "unsettling ethical questions" not mentioned in the editorial are these: Is it ethical to forbid someone from using every legal means to get an organ that will save their life? Is it ethical to deny someone their legal right to donate an organ to a person of their choice?

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Friday, August 13, 2004

Houston man gets liver after billboard ad

Todd Krampitz of Houston, Texas, recently underwent successful transplant surgery after renting billboards to plead for the donation of a liver. He received a liver from a person from another state who had recently died. The deceased person's family, who had read about the advertising campaign, donated their loved one's liver specifically to Mr. Krampitz.

This is an example of directed donation as practiced by LifeSharers. It proves that the LifeSharers form of directed donation is legal.

This story and this story from the Houston Chronicle provide more information.

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