Joel E. Frader, MD
Read Full Text Article
April 2012 - Volume 41 · Issue 4: 135-136
Recently, a subspecialist at a well-known children’s hospital communicated to the parents of a 3-year-old girl with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare genetic condition that, in her case, included considerable cognitive disability, that she would not receive transplantation because of her intellectual deficit.
Soon after, in the face of national media attention — much of it negative — the institution issued a statement indicating that intellectual ability was not a factor in its program’s transplant eligibility decision-making process.
Organ Supply and Demand
Solid organ transplantation has always been wracked with the problem of too much demand and not enough supply. This scarcity results in allocation procedures that inevitably exclude some possible transplant candidates. The Wolf-Hirschhorn case prompts reconsideration of ethically justifiable criteria for deciding who will get an organ when not all can have them.
There are three main points to consider:
Who should make organ allocation decisions?
On what basis can we say organ allocation is fair and defensible?
Should we think differently about deceased-donor organ transplantation compared to transplantation of organs from a living donor?
Other transplant programs have made, and continue to make, decisions about listing patients for deceased-donor organs using a variety of psychosocial factors, including intelligence.1,2
Read more: http://www.healio.com/pediatrics/journals/PedAnn/%7B03978769-BE46-4013-ABDB-A8903D60798C%7D/Re-evaluating-the-Recipient-Criteria-for-Organ-Transplants#
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad