We must stand firm on brain-death standard, says NEJM
Two controversies over brain dead women should not weaken a united front on brain death, say bioethicists.
Hospital fined after patient wakes during organ harvesting operation
An apparently brain-damaged 41-year-old American woman awoke during an operation to harvest her organs.
US court fast-tracks dying girl’s lung transplant
A US court has overruled government health policy and fast-tracked a lung transplant for a Pennsylvania girl with cystic fibrosis.
Bioengineered kidneys could help alleviate organ shortage
Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have created bioengineered rat kidneys which successfully filter blood and produce urine. If the technique works with humans, it could do away with the need for donor kidneys.
Useful kidneys discarded every day in US, experts claim
In 2011 2,644 of the 14,784 kidneys recovered in the United States were discarded – nearly 18%, according to official statistics. Almost 500 of these were not transplanted because a recipient could not be found.
Man donates kidney, gets no insurance
Radburn Royer, of Minnesota, donated his kidney to his daughter Erika after her lupus caused kidney failure. Now 31, Erika is fine, but her physically active 53-year-old father has been unable to obtain private health insurance.
European crisis boosts illegal trade in body parts
The financial crisis in Europe has sparked an increase in the trade of human body parts, as families and individuals scramble to put food on the table.
China to stop harvesting convict organs
China officials plan to end organ harvesting from death-row inmates, in a move to reform an organ donation system which has for many years relied heavily on prisoners.
Former V-P gets new heart
Former US vice president Dick Cheney received a new heart recently. The operation sparked speculation that he had jumped the queue.
British doctors endorse radical solutions to organ shortage
Some of the most controversial methods of obtaining organs have been endorsed by the British Medical Association in a report released this week. “Building on Progress: what next for organ donation policy in the UK?” laments “the fact that… people are still dying unnecessarily because of a lack of organs”.
Immigrant dad will miss out on transplant
Jesus Navarro needs a new kidney. He has a willing donor and private insurance -- but he has been denied the transplant because he is an illegal immigrant. Administrators at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center are refusing to transplant a kidney from Navarro’s wife, saying he may not receive sufficient follow-up care, due to his uncertain status.
Organ donation overhaul contentious
A New South Wales government proposal to prevent families from overturning their deceased relatives’ wishes on organ donation has garnered mixed reactions.
Alcoholics get second chance at liver transplants
Gravely ill alcoholics who need a liver transplant should not always have to prove they can stay sober for six months to get one, doctors have said in a study.
Ukraine tops Europe in organ trafficking
The illegal organ trafficking trade is flourishing in Ukraine as the country’s medical infrastructure and legislation make vital transplant organs hard to come by.
Daughter will receive transplant of her mother’s womb
Melinda Arnold, after many years of wanting to be a mother, is set to receive a transplant of her mother’s womb.
Brazilian transplant doctors convicted after 25 years
A jury in Sao Paulo has convicted three Brazilian doctors of killing four patients for their kidneys. Rui Sacramento, Pedro Torrecillas and Mariano Fiore Junior were each sentenced to 17 years and six months in prison.
Boycott China, say bioethicists
Despite assurances that the practice is winding down, China persists in using organs from executed prisoners. In an editorial in The Lancet, several prominent bioethicists have called upon doctors and scientists to boycott everything related to organ transplants.
Organ trafficking on the rise in Korea
“Everything has been screwed up. My last hope is to sell my kidney or liver. So please call me if you’re interested,” a message on a Korean website reads, along with a phone number.
Patients given HIV-infected organs
One of Taiwan’s best hospitals has admitted that organs infected with HIV were mistakenly transplanted into 5 patients after a hospital worker misheard the donor’s test results by telephone.
China to crack down on illegal transplants
China’s Ministry of Health will crack down on illegal human organ harvesting and transplants, a statement on the ministry’s website said last week.