Youth may skip past aged organ transplant patients

“In a man’s middle years there is scarcely a part of the body he would hesitate to turn over to the proper authorities.” – E.B. White, author of “Charlotte’s Web” and “The Elements of Style” which I barely remember.

Here’s a bit of news if you want to freak out granny: “The nation’s organ-transplant network is considering giving younger, healthier people preference over older, sicker patients for the best kidneys,” according to The Washington Post.

The United Network for Organ Sharing, which was not featured anywhere in film “Repo Men,” says the move would “get the most out of a scarce resource.”

The current system — which gives organs to those who have been on the waiting list longest — would instead give organs to those who would live the longest if given a transplant. That would pretty much prevent an elderly person from ever getting an organ, according to one physician quoted in the article.

“The best kidneys are from young adults under age 35 years. Nobody over the age of 50 will ever see one of those,” said Lainie Friedman Ross, a University of Chicago bioethicist and physician. “There are a lot of people in their 50s and 60s who, with a properly functioning kidney, could have 20 or more years of life. We’re making it harder for them to get a kidney that will function for that length of time. It’s age discrimination.”

Retirement’s not looking too rosy all of a sudden.

3 comments Add your comment


February 25th, 2011
6:53 pm

If they would focus their efforts on how organs are donated they wouldn’t have to discriminate. If organ donation was presumed unless a person opted out, this would create many more donations. If they go ahead with this new plan, it puts too much power in the hands of the Drs, because no longer would the sickest pt get a transplant – they would be able to hand pick recipients that were younger and healthier. This is appalling discrimination!


February 27th, 2011
12:01 am

This was inevitable. It’s called triage, which is a sysytem of assigning resources in such a way as to maximize the number of survivors. As time goes by and we hear about more stuff like this Sarah Palin’s “death panel” prediction will become less and less absurd.


February 28th, 2011
12:02 pm

this is just the beginning of what we can look forward to with socialized medicine and Obama care!!!