Transplant Tales: to China and back

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

34 A.T.

Today Eric an I were invited to appear on Mornings on 2. The story shared and the point made, was I believe, very clear. It was not about having money and defying the US medical world. It was not about political issues stemming from executed prisoners or the Chinese cleansing of Fulan Gong practitioners. It is about our current practices here in the states, with regards to transplant lists. These transplant lists in all honesty, were not designed with cancer in mind.

We truly appreciate everyone's comments and opinions about current events. Yes, we had a choice Chemo or Transplant in China. We chose the possibility of life. We need to change things here in the states, so people don't have to consider this option.

There was a note to the Editor of the Chronicle today. Basically saying that we needed to boost the drive on family and friends becoming live donors. That's fine and dandy. But there again, the many cancer patients that are diagnosed with liver cancer fall short. The criteria for a liver transplant if you have cancer is cut an dry, 3 or less tumors, measuring 5 cm or less. This is considered a silent killer, and as the doctor put it, an aggressive cancer. So, what choice do people currently have, when they are told out of the starting gates that surgery or a transplant are not an option. No sign of metastasizing, your cancer is just to large for you to be considered a successful candidate for transplant, cadaver or live. So many people fall into that grey area around that fine criteria line. That is what we see as unjust and unfair.

3 Comments:

Blogger Heart said...

If you need a little bit of a smile in what is surely a crazy time in your life, please take a look at my line of organ-inspired tees and stuff at www.iheartguts.com. Your story is no interesting, I'd love to talk to you about any transplant organizations that want to do a donor awareness campaign.

4/20/2006 2:00 PM  
Blogger Heart said...

I meant to say "so interesting," not "no interesting." Duh.

4/20/2006 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its neither unjust nor unfair in a system where there is a limited supply of a precious and scarce resource. There are simply not enough organs to fill all the needs in the current system. So the organs that are available are JUSTLY and FAIRLY given to those who stand the greatest chance of gaining the greatest number of years of quality life from them. It is unfortunate that your husband was afflicted with a cancer that made him ineligible to receive a transplant. However, the rules governing allocation of organs are not unfair simply because he couldn't get one!

What would be terribly unjust and unfair though would have been moving someone with less chance of survival ahead of someone with a greater chance as you would seem to suggest. I suspect if your husband had two small tumors but was prevented from getting a transplant because another person who had a far greater tumor burden was given a liver first you would cry foul.

What is also immoral and unjust is supporting a system that feeds off of the suffering, pain, and death of other human beings. It may help you sleep better at night to say 'well they were going to be executed anyway' but the simple fact of the matter is a twenty year old boy was killed and you were given his liver. This 'donation' was in all likelihood coerced or simply performed without any consent whatsoever. (The Chinese have a difficult time getting organs other than from prisoners because of cultural beliefs about the body after death.... so its probably safe to say that the prisoners in China are also subject to those cultural beliefs. Given this, an altruistic donation is exceedingly unlikely.)

An Anonymous Living Kidney Donor

4/24/2006 1:01 AM  

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