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Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:08 PM

About that 10 year old who recieved a second pair of lungs...

Just so you know, I am a candidate for a lung transplant. In fact I could be going under the knife as early as this Fall.

I asked a long time ago, when I first was being tested for the transplant, what would happen if my body completely rejected the lungs. I was told, with no if ands or buts about it, that I would get one set of lungs and if that operation didn't take,well, that was it...

I understand that this is a "special" case, afterall, telling a ten year old that they had their chance sound cruel. But I ask you, what about the person who was passed over in order to give this child another chance? What if that person died waiting for a set of lungs?

Just something to ponder.

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply About that 10 year old who recieved a second pair of lungs... (Original post)
WCGreen Jul 2013 OP
wercal Jul 2013 #1
YarnAddict Jul 2013 #4
Journeyman Jul 2013 #11
liberalhistorian Jul 2013 #17
jeff47 Jul 2013 #24
liberalhistorian Jul 2013 #25
jeff47 Jul 2013 #29
liberalhistorian Jul 2013 #33
femmocrat Jul 2013 #2
KT2000 Jul 2013 #3
Robb Jul 2013 #5
Yo_Mama Jul 2013 #6
Hell Hath No Fury Jul 2013 #7
Demo_Chris Jul 2013 #8
Cleita Jul 2013 #9
davidn3600 Jul 2013 #18
Cleita Jul 2013 #20
anneboleyn Jul 2013 #30
undergroundpanther Jul 2013 #10
JI7 Jul 2013 #12
Archae Jul 2013 #13
laundry_queen Jul 2013 #14
liberalhistorian Jul 2013 #15
KamaAina Jul 2013 #16
CaliforniaPeggy Jul 2013 #19
ellenfl Jul 2013 #21
liberalhistorian Jul 2013 #26
we can do it Jul 2013 #22
magical thyme Jul 2013 #23
Just Saying Jul 2013 #27
Niceguy1 Jul 2013 #28
Rowdyboy Jul 2013 #31
Skittles Jul 2013 #32
FSogol Jul 2013 #34

Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:13 PM

1. Everything about organ donation is a tough moral question

It truly is a zero sum game. You get the organ...it means somebody else didn't.

Just last week I saw a story on Nightline about a woman needing a heart/lung transplant...and she was very much aware that her 'hope' for organs was essentially wishing death on somebody else.

Its full or terrible moral questions. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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Response to wercal (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:18 PM

4. Yeah.

 

I have a condition that could lead to a heart transplant someday. I don't know if I could live with the idea that someone else would need to die in order for me to live. Or, that some much younger person, maybe with young children, wouldn't get an organ because I did. I'm not sure, when it comes right down to it, that I would want that. I mean, we all die sooner or later . . .

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Response to YarnAddict (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:45 PM

11. I reflect often on the harsh reality that our technologies have far outdistanced our moral senses…

and that we as a society are being called upon almost daily to make decisions we are ill-prepared to properly consider, let alone resolve.

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Response to wercal (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 07:40 PM

17. It is, indeed, no question about it.

There's also a darker side to it. Just ask the British family who were traveling in India a few months ago when their young daughter became ill from dehydration and who was injected at the hospital with a fluid that killed her in less than a minute, although the doctors wouldn't tell them what it was or why she'd died. When the British hospital that was to perform the autopsy received her body from the Indian hospital, it discovered that several major organs were missing. It was later determined that she'd been killed for her organs, since there were very few organ donors in India. Her life was deemed less important than the lives of those waiting for organs, even though she was healthy and deserved to live her own life with her family.

Then there was the hospital in this country that was just fined for almost removing organs from a woman who was still alive. She was being prepped for organ removal after determination that she was no longer "viable", when she opened her eyes. She is now still alive and quite traumatized, as was her family. The doctors involved admit that they may have been a bit too eager to get organs for transplant to follow the full procedure necessary to determine true death for the purpose of organ availability.

Organ donation is a good thing, and there should be as much education as possible to ensure that as many people as possible check the donor box on their license and make sure that their families know their wishes also. But it MUST MUST MUST remain completely and totally voluntary, no coercion or failure to follow procedure, period. The lives of potential donors deserve as much respect and dignity as those who need organs.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #17)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 09:35 PM

24. The US woman was suicidial

And was successful at it 2011.

(She was already suicidal before the incident - her suicide attempt is why she was in the hospital.)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #24)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:29 AM

25. Why she was in the hospital does not and should not matter.

What matters, and what is chilling, is the failure to follow proper procedure in determining true death for the purpose of harvesting organs for transplantation. I firmly believe that that could happen far more often than we'd like to think and, indeed, maybe already has. If doctors start making such determinations based on the reason for a hospitalization, iow if they start deciding that some lives are worth less than others due to the reason for a hospitalization and what they think of it, then NONE of us are safe.

Proper procedures must always be followed no matter what, and the donor must already be unquestionably deceased, without any "assistance" toward that, in order for a legitimate transplant to occur. The life of the donor is no less important than that of the donee, regardless of manner and cause of death.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #25)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:49 AM

29. It matters when you claim

She is now still alive and quite traumatized, as was her family.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #29)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:55 PM

33. Then I must have read the article wrong,

or it was a different case. And try to imagine how traumatizing that would be for the patient and the family if she had not ultimately died. The lives of the donors matter just as much and proper procedure must always be followed, regardless of why a donee was in the hospital in the first place. Value judgments should have no place in it whatsoever.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:14 PM

2. I'm sorry, WCGreen.

Honestly, I thought of the same things. I hope your surgery goes perfectly and you will be restored to good health.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:16 PM

3. the whole transplant issue

is really a mess. Yes - there are the waiting lists and rules that must be followed. They are not always followed though. We know that exceptions are made.
There is also a black market where no rules other than cash exist. The free-marketers are pushing for the cash route with the donor being paid for their organs. In some countries, a kidney can be used for collateral on a loan.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:21 PM

5. What a world.

I mean, we all know somewhere there's a calculus where our life is judged more important than someone's, and less important than someone else's, to someone. All hypothetical stuff.

Except not for you. To have it put down in black and white, must be cause for much reflection indeed. I wish you strength and luck.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:25 PM

6. There are no easy answers to this question

I'm sorry for you and this girl and all the others facing situations like this, and I wish you all well.

I don't know what's right and what's wrong in these situations. I'm not qualified.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:26 PM

7. I was very uneasy -

 

about the press to change the law about younger children and adult organs -- organ transplant is already tricky enough without have to go the extra step of downsizing an organ. I was also uneasy about the change allowing her to jump in front of adults who were equally sick and had been waiting.

I have a neighbor who had a liver transplant that went bad after only a few years. Could have been because he's a raging booze hound and a smoker. He got a SECOND transplant and is now back to his old ways, and starting to look like shit again after just a year and a half. I honestly do not think he deserved that second transplant.

My Mom, on the other hand, had corneal transplants 25 years ago -- an extraordinary length of time for them to remain functioning. She recently under went a new transplant and will have the other eye done in around 6 months. Did she deserve that second transplant?

The ethics of transplants can be murky sometimes, IMO. We try to level the playing field as much as possible with the transplant list but, at the end of the day, we play "god" every day in deciding who has the best shot of success with the available organs.

I wish you all the best with your transplant -- the day you get the call will be amazing.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:26 PM

8. Took guts to post this thread so I guess you wont need any of those...

 

I wish you nothing but the best.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:36 PM

9. I think that person passed over was probably over fifty.

Sometimes a decision is made that it's better to give a young child a chance because an older person has had a chance to live their life. I'm not necessarily talking about transplants but just the way humanity has acted historically. If there is a famine usually the older members of the family will go without food so the children could eat. Again the reasoning is that the old person has had a chance at life and now the youngest need their chance.

My husband who suffered from end stage renal disease refused to be on the transplant list because he was past seventy. There were so many young people in the dialysis clinic that needed a transplant that he felt he had lived his life so they deserved a chance to finish living theirs. One of the nurses told me in confidence that he probably wouldn't have been given a kidney anyway unless there was an excess of them and even then finding a doctor who would do the transplant on an elderly patient was a rare bird because of the possible malpractice suit if it wasn't successful. The odds of a successful transplant diminished with elderly patients.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 08:01 PM

18. You dont have the right to make that decision for other people

 

You can't have it both ways. You can't have a fair and equal society but them tell people they have to die because of their age so someone else can live.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #18)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 08:08 PM

20. I haven't made any decision. I'm just positing with some

things I have witnessed in the past what could have happened. I'm offering no moral judgement here.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #18)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:56 AM

30. Exactly. Plus a 50 year old mother with children should die before a 10 year old? Please.

The "ooooh but the CHILDREN" argument does not take into account the fact that everyone deserves to live who is on that list and that it is absolutely no " better" for a 50 year old mother of three, for example, to be told that she should die so that a child of ten may/may not live with a lung transplant. I do not hold one life above another. Do 18 year olds deserve special treatment before 21 year olds since the 21 year olds have lived " more?" A 30 year old mother of two deserves to live more than the 42 year old father of three?

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 06:38 PM

10. live consumes life

to live and die anyway,how do lions choose what gazelle to eat,they kill life to live,all life kills the liviong to live and they all die too. People die all the time.

I do however agree the alcoholic did not need another transplant after drinking the first one to shit.
Unlike some,I do not have the same level of sympathy for addicts,they need to hit bottom asap,and decide if they love a substance more than their own life. shit or get off the pot kinda thing. However enabiling does them no good.So instead of enabling a drunk,with a second,third liver,they should have given it to someone recovered from addiction for at least 7 years or to a non-addict first. But they want the list to look random and impartial,but I fear it isn't as random as one might want to believe.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 07:11 PM

12. it's too bad politics was inserted into this case, more so than the advice of medical professionals

 

i have no problem with the parents of the girl and the girl herself trying anything they can.

but that's why we have certain rules and standards which were set up before and for good reason.

but the right wing started to use this case to try to make it into some Obama death panels thing.

when the rules concerning transplants were in place before Obama became president. notice the media did not report on the failure of the first lung transplant . remember their reporting made it seem as if it really was up to sebelius and the obama administration whether this girl lived or died.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 07:20 PM

13. What broils me is not this little girl getting lungs.

She has the chance to be a good productive worker.

It's Dick Cheney, that useless dollop of shit getting a new heart that broils me.

Dick Cheney had to have bumped someone to get that new heart, and and his daughter are the most useless political commentators that aren't media people like Rush the Fathead or Hannity.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 07:26 PM

14. From what I understand

the lungs she received were lungs that were extremely sub par because she was so critical. The first lungs were subpar also, and never started working, so they had to grab the next available pair that were crappy and likely would've been rejected for most people who were stable on the transplant list.
I'm not against her being on the adult list. The way it works here in Canada is based on who is sickest, regardless of age. I like that way better, especially since it's so rare for smaller children to need lungs.

I have also heard of people crying foul when some who have money are able to go to different transplant centres to get evaluated. I read on one blog someone who could only find 1 transplant center in the entire country who would take her (she had several issues that were linked with transplant failure. Her outlook even after transplant was grim) and within a week she had new lungs. She's still here on the same set of lungs 7 years later - so should she have gotten the lungs? Should her condition have forced her to forgo the transplant (as others with her condition were usually refused and they all died?) and let nature take its course instead? If she wouldn't have pushed for a transplant she wouldn't be here 7 years later, against all odds. What about people who are on the list for the second time because of chronic rejection? Do they deserve to get another set of lungs to survive while some people haven't even had one chance?

Lots of moral and ethical issues that are tough to deal with.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 07:30 PM

15. Since you say that that was a long time ago that

you were told that, could the policies and rules have changed since then? I know of several cases of "ordinary" people who received a second organ after their first one had been rejected or failed.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 07:33 PM

16. It sounds like second lung transplants are unusual but not unheard of

 

I wonder why you were told that? Your age, maybe?

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 08:06 PM

19. Excellent bit of pondering...K&R

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 08:31 PM

21. imo, she should not have gotten the first pair. she didn't qualify.

i understand her parents doing everything they can but the lungs she got might have saved the life of a 30 year old. i know the rules are not followed but they should be. i have been an organ donor for 40+ years.

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Response to ellenfl (Reply #21)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:33 AM

26. So why would the life of your hypothetical 30-year-old be

any more important than that of a ten-year-old? And the reason she didn't qualify was a stupid arbitrary cutoff line established for, as my own doctor told me when we were discussing it, no real good reason.

And who are you to make such determinations and to decide who is more important and whose life is worth more?

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 08:37 PM

22. I hope you get it sooner than later. It is not fair to let someone die to give a high profile

It is not fair to let someone die to give a high profile case a second shot first, it just isn't regardless of age.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 10, 2013, 09:08 PM

23. thank you for sharing this with us...

 

I agree. Hope all goes well for you.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:46 AM

27. I actually did think about this.

It's very sad when a child is gravely ill but aren't most people on transplant lists special cases? I felt bad for the girl and her parents but couldn't help thinking we have a system and for that to change someone else will be missing out.

I'll keep fingers and toes crossed for your new lungs and a speedy recovery.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:49 AM

28. I think that it was

Fair considering that the first pairnof lungs were of poor quality according to reports.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 01:24 AM

31. I admire your guts in posting this and I empathize. There are several major moral questions and they

deserve to be discussed at great length. I felt that the original decision was somewhat arbitrary and pretty much media-driven.

I wish you the absolute best.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 01:57 AM

32. I think we should concentrate more on upping donations

I think it should be an OPT OUT kind of thing if people are anti-organ donation

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 01:07 PM

34. Bottom line: More people need to donate organs. Sign up today.

Best wishes for your recovery, WCGreen.

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