Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reason #73

Reason #73 to wear your Donate Life bracelet: you’re ready for St. Patrick’s Day 365 days a year! Piper and I ventured out to the dog park today, where a lot of people were rocking their green. Fortunately, our support for organ donation prevented us from being pinched. It didn’t prevent her from being molested by a big bully, but that’s a different story for a different day…
A lot of people are celebrating St. Patty’s Day today. I’m not (though I’m a bit envious of the green-beer drinking twenty-somethings), but I did find reason for celebration when I read the paper this morning. With an MBA, it seems, comes an implicit obligation to read the Wall Street Journal. I only partially fulfill my WSJ quota by receiving the Saturday paper…and I even read it most weeks.
Last week I was enraged to come across an article entitled “What You Lose When You Sign That Donor Card” featured prominently. The title alone alarmed me, but the content was truly outrageous. I was so disappointed that such a highly respected business periodical would publish such paranoid, biased and largely untrue words. The article was designed to feed the fears and uncertainties of organ donation critics, and I’m quite sure it was successful.
The reason for today’s celebration was discovering a letter to the editor today in response to the article. It was written by two physicians and the President and CEO of the New York Organ Donor Network. The words were carefully chosen and the message crystal clear: shame on you for publishing such misinformation. My only regret is that many more people read last week’s prominently placed piece than found this important response buried deep inside the paper.

We Must Encourage Organ Donors
“Dick Teresi’s ‘What You Lose When You Sign That Donor Card’ grossly misinforms the public about both the medical determination of brain death and the organ donation process in the U.S.
“First, there has never been a documented case of patient recovery after a properly performed determination of death by neurological criteria. Ever.
“Second, the diagnosis of brain death requires extensive neurological examination, irrespective of a patient’s organ donor status or the family’s support for donation. Electroencephalography is generally no longer used because it’s outmoded, not because physicians have something to hide. When donation is an option, the organ recovery agency must verify that all clinical testing has been done and all legal documentation is in the patient’s chart.
“Organ donation saves lives. Eighteen Americans will die today waiting for a life-saving organ. We hope that Mr. Teresi’s misinformed comments do not add to that number.”

Eighteen people. TODAY. Let’s see what we can do to address this solvable problem, not make it worse. Shame on you, Dick Teresi. And shame on you, WSJ.

1 comment:

  1. Though lacking MBA, I also read WSJ and abhor the anti donation comments. I am forever grateful that the mother of our donor harbored no such doubts.THANKS always!