Headline, March12, 2014



The World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless is deeply grieved at the loss of all these  "very precious lives"   in the Malaysian Airline crash:

And what is even more  -tragically-  alarming   is the fact that the technology is just not there to provide immediate coordinates for the search and rescue.

Where the hell are the squawks and pings of an  unusual flight occurrence?

We don't have the  baseline  nor the  basepoint  for the search. The search is proceeding  on what the aviation calls  "Dead Reckoning"  : of common sense and thoughts and likely visualizations.  Shame and Sorrow!    

A YOUNG girl  -a young student wanted some new lungs. The rules said that she could not have lungs from an adult donor,  -but only from another child:

That means she would most probably die!

Janet and Francis Murnaghan complained that the rules discriminated against their daughter Sarah,  -a 10year old being treated for cystic fibrosis in Philadelphia.

So they sued to put her on the waiting list for adult lungs. Kathleen Sebelius, the health secretary, ordered a review of the policy but was hesitant to meddle further.

A conservative editorial called her   "a death panel of one".

Although the number of transplants is rising,  there are  never   enough organs.

Most donations require someone to die  before an ailment has ravaged his insides. Even kidneys are scarce, though you can donate one and still get by with the other.

Americans say they abhor rationing. But they also hate the idea of letting people sell an organ,  so rationing is what they are left with.

The process is handled by the  Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network   (OPTN),    which included doctors, patient advocates  and bioethicists,  overseen by the health department.

Its policies are complex and inevitably, imperfect.

On June 5th, then,  last year, a federal judge ordered Miss Murnaghan to be placed temporarily on the adult waiting list, pending further hearings. A day later the judge ordered similar relief for Javier Acosta:

An 11 year old student in the same situation. The  OPTN'S  leaders voted on June 10th to let children seeking a spot in the adult queue appeal to an internal review board.

On June 12th Miss Murnaghan finally received a potentially life-saving lung-transplant. Her parents were ecstatic.

Others wondered if this would prompt more people to sue to be moved to the front of the queue.

Congress and the health department issue broad rules for how to distribute organs. Allocation must be  "equitable" , for example.

The OPTN must sort out the thorny details. The procedure for lungs is particularly elaborate:

They are allocated according to donor's proximity, blood type and an algorithm to balance the desire to help the afflicted with the desire not to waste organs on those too ill to recover.

A broader question is whether organ donation should favour the young.

The share of total organ recipients aged 50 and older has jumped from  28%  in 1988 to  60% last year.

The rise has been even more dramatic for those 65 and older  -the share jumped from   2% to 17%.  These figures may rise further as the baby-boomers age.

Later the  OPTN   got to consider a proposal to place  young candidates higher in the queue for kidneys, the most commonly transplanted organ.

Supporters point out that the young stand to gain more years of life from a transplant.

"'Opponents retort that all human lives are equally valuable"'.

One day, artificial organs may render this debate irrelevant. For now Student Miss Murnaghan has won a reprieve.

Student Acosta and more than  16,000  other Americans are still waiting for new lungs.

More and more posts will follow in the future on : Organs, transplants, and the unenviable task of rationing organs.

With respectful dedication to the  Organ Transplant Surgeons  the World over. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' Aspire - Inspire  "'

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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