Disorganization Station – Ritalin Donations Welcome


Letter to the Editor

Posted in Uncategorized by Hams on 2008/03/13

I’m a letter writer.  An insatiable letter writer, and most of the time, I get results.  One letter resulted in a fraudulent physician having to write a check back to Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Another resulted in all of the employees of another physicians office having to go through privacy training after continued violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Today’s inciting incident was Channel 3 news.  Patrick Swayze’s smoking after chemo.  Who cares?!  Who is he hurting?  Himself and his family.  Pardon my cynicism, but what would quitting smoking do for him at this point?  Pancreatic cancer has a 5% survival rate after five years.  Dead man walking.  It’s completely awful.

So this cute little news anchor likens his continuance of a 3 pack-a-day habit to an alcoholic getting a liver transplant then reuniting with their own 6 pack-a-day habit.

Because organs don’t grow on trees, anyone listed for an organ transplant undergoes a rigorous medical and social interview.  If a transplant surgeon suspected he/she was going to boomerang back to Budweiser, I am confident in saying this patient would not be listed.  There’s no money to be made in dead patients and bad transplant outcomes.

So here’s my rant to AZFamily.com. 

I was disheartened by Olivia Fierro’s comment relating to organ transplantation and donation this morning.  Her comment occurred during the discussion about Patrick Swayze’s cancer treatment and she related his smoking after chemotherapy to recidivism of alcoholics post liver transplants.

Understand, please, that each of these circumstances are completely unrelated.  To my knowledge, no altruistic gift was provided to Patrick Swayze as a life-saving measure.

As of 2pm today, over 98,000 Americans are waiting for the gift of life.  Each day, 18 of these people will be removed from this list as they die waiting for their life saving gift.

The comment made was not substantiated by any particular event and was likely anecdotal in nature.  Only 1 to 1.5 percent of deaths each year occur in such a manner to where a family may make this selfless choice to donate.  Reckless commentary such as this by the media may prejudice a family’s decision to donate.  A donation decision should be made based upon facts – not conjecture.

Help spread the facts about donation.  April is National Donate Life Month.  I challenge you to interview a donor family member, a recipient, and a person waiting for their gift of life.

Stepping down from my soapbox now….

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