Sunday, September 12, 2004

Researchers want to stop life-saving organ donations

Through a process called list-paired exchange, a person waiting for a kidney transplant gets a higher priority on the waiting list for an organ from a deceased donor when a relative makes a living donation to the waiting list. The living donor is not able to donate to his relative, usually because of blood type incompatibilities, so the willing donor gives his kidney to an unknown person on the waiting list.

List-paired exchanges save lives. Someone on the waiting gets a kidney. The donor's relative gets higher priority on the next matching kidney.

But some "researchers" don't think this is fair! Why? Because list-paired exchanges help people with certain blood types more than people with other blood types. Fewer people die overall, but more people with blood type O die. (For details go here.)

These "researchers" want to prohibit people from donating kidneys that they can't donate to relatives, if their relatives have blood type O. So if you wanted to help your brother get a kidney by giving one of your kidneys to a stranger, they would stop you if your brother's blood type is O.

This is arrogance on the grandest scale. Their proposal stop people from saving lives if their blood types weren't the right ones. And it would kill people in the name of fairness.

The goal of our organ donation system should be to save lives, not to spread deaths equally among groups. LifeSharers helps save lives by increasing the number of organ donors.

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