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Tuesday, April 15th 2008

The NHS Doesn't Know How To Allocate Organs

This is my second post on the ethics of organ transplantation today.

The story from the BBC goes like this: a dying 21 year old is an organ donor and the daughter of a mother who needs a kidney transplant. This young woman tries to target her kidney to her mother but instead, upon her death, the organs are allocated based on need.

Rachel Leake, 39, of Bierley, West Yorkshire, was told that her daughter Laura Ashworth’s dying wish to donate her organs could not be honoured.

The 21-year-old’s kidneys and liver went instead to three other patients.

Apparently there was some question as the daughter’s wishes, that she hadn’t expressed them formally. But the executor of the daughters last wishes, even in regards to her organs, should not be the organ donation sharing network…it should be her family. If this is policy then it is unacceptable and even if you cut it merely as a matter of miscommunication this is a really tragic.