American Journal of Bioethics Article Prompts Re-examination of Advertising for Transplant Donors



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From the Seattle Times, and syndicated from the Post-Dispatch:

Last month, a group working on behalf of a New York City public-relations executive was accused of using questionable tactics in their search for a deceased-donor liver. The tactics included posting fliers in hospitals, allegedly tracking trauma patients in emergency rooms and urging police and emergency-medical workers to identify accident victims who might serve as donors.

United Network for Organ Sharing issued a statement assuring the public that the executive did not get preferential treatment when she got a transplant Aug. 6.

In the current American Journal of Bioethics, Sheldon Zink and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics said recent appeals highlight the potential for exploitation.

State and federal laws permit families to name a specific person to receive their loved one’s organs, a process known as “directed donation.” Typically those organs go to relatives. Most transplant professionals say designating organs to immediate family members is acceptable.

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