Madison man in transplant series dies without donating organs


Wayne Bender, whose quest to donate his organs despite having ALS was featured in a series on transplants in the State Journal last year, died this week without donating his organs.

The State Journal article that featured Bender July 6 focused on imminent death donation, a controversial proposal to allow people to donate organs just before life support is removed.

Bender, 57, of Madison, was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2014. Shortly afterward, he asked doctors at UW Hospital if he could donate a kidney before his health deteriorated too much.

They said no because the procedure could speed up his death, and if he died within six months afterward it would be a “black mark” on the hospital’s transplant program, said Dr. Josh Mezrich, a UW Hospital transplant doctor.

Bender then told Mezrich he wanted to donate as many organs as possible upon his death. Continue reading
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