The Wait for Life Highlights Organ Sharing Debate, with UCSF's Liver Transplant Service at the Center
UCSF News reports on the the difficult choices that patients, families and doctors face because of the shortage of donated organs for transplantation.
A difficult conundrum for the nation's transplant patients was aired September 22 when the news program California Connected featured UCSF's Liver Transplant Program. The story, produced by Jon Dann for public television stations KQED and KCET, highlights the difficult choices that patients, families and doctors face because of the shortage of donated organs for transplantation. Reporter Bob Jimenez pointed out that this shortage in one sense represents success--organ transplants now are recognized as a reliable way to extend patients' lives and the quality of their lives. He also reports on a problem with this shortage--patients face differences in the wait for donated transplant organs, depending on geographical area.
The story shows a living-donor liver transplant operation at UCSF, and interviews with John Roberts, MD, chief of the UCSF Transplant Service, and Nathan Bass, MD, PhD, medical director of liver transplant for adults. It features three UCSF patients who sought different solutions to their need for liver transplants. A mother whose baby was born with a rare liver-damaging disorder donated part of her own liver to save her daughter's life. A man whose liver cancer was too advanced to meet national criteria for transplant eligibility sought to extend his life with a transplant overseas. And a man who has been waiting seven years on the transplant list must wait still longer, because his liver disease so far has not progressed to a category of high medical need.