IT IS NOT JUST THE ELDERLY WHO ARE ENDANGERED BY THE TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN ORGANS, THE YOUNG ARE IN GREATER DANGER

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This is the fourth of a series on human organ donation/transplantation I will be posting on this blog.  Why will I be doing this?  Because I am convinced that the transplantation of human organs is BIG BUSINESS.  While it illegal to buy and sell human tissue and human organs for transplantation,  it is legal for individuals to donate their tissue and organs to be transplanted into other persons who desperately need such transplanted tissue and organs in order to live a better life and in many cases, such transplanted tissue and organs are necessary for the recipient to stay alive.

While it is illegal to buy and sell human tissue, donated tissue and organs when transplanted in recipients produce a lot of money for the doctors making the removal or the insertion of tissue and organs and for the medical facilities, hospitals or clinics.  Transplant operations can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Obviously then it is not unreasonable to describe the medical practice of removal and/or transplantation as BIG BUSINESS.

According to Transplant Living, the average total cost of a single heart transplant in 2007 was $658,800. This figure includes the cost of obtaining a donor heart, at an average of nearly $90,000, about $23,000 in evaluation fees, $40,000 for doctor’s fees, $383,000 in hospital costs, $93,000 in post-operative care, and over $29,000 for immunosuppressive prescription medications. Transplants that involved both a heart and a lung cost an average of $874,800, while heart and kidney combination transplants cost an average of $758,700.

Donors of tissue and organs act out of compassion.  The same cannot be said of the health care industry.  Example:  last year the Chinese government brought charges against local officials in the western region of China who were systematically putting political dissidents in prison and then executing them in a mobile medical facility where their tissue and organs were removed and shipped throughout China where wealthy Chinese paid hundreds of thousand dollars for organ transplants.  That practice is not confined to China but is present more or less in many countries.

While such a violation of human rights probably does not occur in the United States, there is illegal trafficking in tissue and organs.  What immediately concerns me is the suspicion that the interest of the health care industry and  tontos utiles promoting legislation such as the currently pushed Texas Senate Bill 303 and the Texas House Bill 1444 is that such legislation promotes the ‘third way’ for passive euthanasia.   Simply put, it is so easy for trained health care personnel to have a naive patient check off  boxes on a document like a POLST document that both authorizes withdrawal of treatment (including nutrition and hydration) and the donation of the patient’s organs.  George Orwell is probably nodding his head when he hears some proponents of ‘palliative care’ push their agenda;  he warned us to look behind the meaning of words.

– Abyssum

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Heart transplant patient Jennifer Sutton admires her old heart at the Wellcome Collection’s Heart Exhibition in London. She donated her heart to promote awareness about organ donation and restrictive cardiomyopathy — a disease that nearly killed her.

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images

Organ Donation Statistics

Let’s take a closer look at the different organs that can be donated and examine the organ donation statistics for each one. There are six organs that can be donated and transplanted:

1.  Kidney — The functioning lifespan of a transplanted kidney is about nine years. Of all organs, kidneys are most in demand and the most frequently donated

. Most diseases that affect the kidneys affect both at the same time, so a living donor is generally not at a greater health risk with only one kidney.

  • Number of people added to list between July 2006 and June 2007: 33,981
  • Total number of people on kidney waiting list as of June 2007: 73,850
  • Number of deceased-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007: 10,571
  • Number of living-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007: 6,164
  • Mortality rate while waiting for kidney: 7 percent 

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2.  Liver — The liver is necessary for vitamin storage, removing waste from blood and digestion.

  • Number of people added to list between July 2006 and June 2007: 10,887
  • Total number of people on kidney waiting list as of June 2007: 17,142
  • Number of deceased-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007: 6,274
  • Number of living-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007: 258
  • Mortality rate while waiting for liver: 13 percent

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3.  Heart — A heart will beat about 2.5 billion times in the course of an average lifetime. Once removed from the donor’s body, a heart can only survive for about four hours.

  • Number of people added to list between July 2006 and June 2007: 3,011
  • Total number of people on heart waiting list as of June 2007: 2,673
  • Number of deceased-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007: 2,224
  • Mortality rate while waiting for heart: 15 percent

4.  Lungs — Single or double-lung transplants can be performed. Additionally, living donors can donate a single lobe from the lungs, though it will not regenerate.

  • Number of people added to list between July 2006 and June 2007: 1,886
  • Total number of people on lung waiting list as of June 2007: 2,743
  • Number of deceased-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007: 1,391
  • Number of living-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007: 4
  • Mortality rate while waiting for lung: 12 percent

5.  Pancreas  It’s possible to make a living donation of a portion of the pancreas and still retain pancreas functionality.

  • Number of people added to list between July 2006 and June 2007: 827
  • Total number of people on pancreas waiting list as of June 2007: 1,570
  • Number of deceased-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007: 449
  • Mortality rate while waiting for pancreas: 4 percent

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6.  Intestine  Although quite rare, a living donor can donate a portion of the intestine.

  • Number of people added to list between July 2006 and June 2007: 299
  • Total number of people on intestine waiting list as of June 2007: 231
  • Number of deceased-donor transplants between July 2006 and June 2007): 180
  • Mortality rate while waiting for intestine: 22 percent

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Now that we know more about the organs that can be donated, in the next section we’ll see just how recyclable a human body is.

The Amazing Liver

The liver is the only organ that can grow cells in order to regenerate itself. A liver can actually be split in two and transplanted into two different people. A living person can have a portion of the liver removed, and the remaining portion will regenerate to almost its full previous size. The liver also generates the most heat of any organ in the body. Livers can be transplanted into a patient without removing the patient’s own liver.

Since an organ can be split, an adult organ can be split so that the portion will not be too large for a child recipient — and that portion of the liver will grow to accommodate the child into adulthood.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
This entry was posted in BRAIN DEATH, EUTHANASIA, HEALTH CARE, INFANTICIDE, LIFE ISSUES, MEDICAL-MORAL PROBLEMS, MENTAL HEALTH, MORAL RELATIVISM, ORGAN DONATION, SAVING CHILDREN, SCIENCE AND ETHICS. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to IT IS NOT JUST THE ELDERLY WHO ARE ENDANGERED BY THE TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN ORGANS, THE YOUNG ARE IN GREATER DANGER

  1. anselmusjmj says:

    This news about the liver is shocking! One of my friends died in his 30’s as a result of not being able to get a liver in time. The solution was right there the whole time. The lack of proactive measures and common sense is truly scary.

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