• ELCA policy resolution, The Donation of Organs, Tissue and Whole Blood.
• Medline Plus—Organ Transplantation.
• Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
• President’s Council on Bioethics.
• Transplant Awareness Inc.
• United Network for Organ Sharing.
• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Donate Life.
Todd Krampitz’s message was simple: “I Need a Liver—Please Help Save My Life!” Plastered on two billboards along a busy Houston freeway, his plea included a toll-free number and Web site (www.ToddNeedsaLiver.com) that told his story.
Krampitz, 32, was hospitalized in May 2004 with sudden severe abdominal pain. The diagnosis was liver cancer so extensive that he’d never survive the average 515-day climb to the top of the transplant list some 17,000 patients long.
Seeing no other option, his family and friends skirted the national organ donor registry to look for a directed donation, one in which a family would ask that their loved one’s liver go directly to Krampitz.
It worked. Within a week, a family directed that their deceased relative’s liver go to Krampitz rather than to the person on the top of the list maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing, which coordinates the nation’s transplants. Such donations to strangers are legal but rare—most directed donations occur within families or between friends.
Internet-brokered transplants raise ethical concerns about human need, the just distribution of available organs and the formation of an international cyber-market in human organs.
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© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers