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  1. #1
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Student denied liver transplant due to alcohol

    Gareth Anderson, 19, from Newtownards in County Down, suffered liver failure after a weekend of drinking and there are fears he could soon die.

    Doctors said there was a strict NHS policy that potential transplant donors had to abstain from alcohol for six months.
    The Independant
    Sky News

    Found this little piece on a student forum I visit. Most of the replies there have been ones of no sympathy. What are peoples views here?

    Think it's a good idea to put the kid in a position where he won't be allowed alcohol in the future, but it doesn't seem right to just let the person die. Hoping it's a case of family donating a liver now, but don't even know whether that's feasible.

  2. #2
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Okay, I know liquor is bad for your liver, but how can you even have liver failure from binge drinking when you're only 19? I mean, when did he start, when he was five?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  3. #3
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    You know, when a person wastes one liver, they are just gonna waste another liver, that's what I always say. *slaps knee*

    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Okay, I know liquor is bad for your liver, but how can you even have liver failure from binge drinking when you're only 19? I mean, when did he start, when he was five?
    No. He just had to start drinking really heavily in recent times. Heavy enough to knock himself out and probably risk alcohol poisoning.
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    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I think the kid's pretty much screwed himself. Yeah, it's all dandy to say "He shouldn't drink that much." but the damage is done. The normal reaction is, faced with death, he'd fix his habits in exchange for life.

    But just goes to show how the stupidity of people screw over those who really did need that liver. He'll live with the dunce hat on his head for the rest of his crappy life.
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  5. #5
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    As my son would say, his "liver" became his "dyer."

  6. #6
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    No. He just had to start drinking really heavily in recent times. Heavy enough to knock himself out and probably risk alcohol poisoning.
    Huh, I didn't know you could wear down a liver that quick.


    Anyway, I don't understand this law. If something's an emergency and somebody needs a liver transplant before six months abstaining from alcohol (let's say they were not a particularly heavy drinker and did not know about this liver condition beforehand), if they had done some moderate drinking beforehand would they be denied treatment?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  7. #7
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    It is a normal thing to require alcohol control if you are requesting a liver. I guess, looking at it, that this is a unique situation? People dont normally have to request a liver after one weekend of drinking? Very strange.

    Oh, at least it's in a UK. I wonder if it's like that in the US. I'm pretty sure repeated drinkers cant get a liver transplant without changing.

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Well, they only have so many livers.

    Think of it like a bank loan. You don't loan to someone who has a bad credit history, right? Well, he ruined his liver by drinking, not by accident or natural process, so he's shown that he's more likely to screw up and die later on in some other way (some kind of stupid risk, not necessarily liver related), and less likely to make a valuable contribution to society.

    In other words, he's somewhat to blame for what happened to his liver, which makes him a less qualified candidate than someone who isn't. Since there are so few livers, they do have to have criteria for deciding who lives and who dies. However, I don't think they should just out-and-out refuse to give him one... he should just have a much, much lower rank on the priority list than someone who's more qualified.

    We should really work on developing cloned organs to make this a non-issue, though.

  9. #9
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Well I imagine he's had alcohol before, and he just drinks like a bat out of hell. On the other hand, if he never had alcohol before, and drank like a bat out of hell, then maybe his tolerance is so low that he poisoned his organs right away.

    You have to remember that chemicals extremely similar to drinking alcohol are highly poisonous and immedietely dangerous in drinkable quantities. Sure, drinking alcohol is weaker, but it mechnically is much the same.
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  10. #10
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Well, they only have so many livers.

    Think of it like a bank loan. You don't loan to someone who has a bad credit history, right? Well, he ruined his liver by drinking, not by accident or natural process, so he's shown that he's more likely to screw up and die later on in some other way (some kind of stupid risk, not necessarily liver related), and less likely to make a valuable contribution to society.

    In other words, he's somewhat to blame for what happened to his liver, which makes him a less qualified candidate than someone who isn't. Since there are so few livers, they do have to have criteria for deciding who lives and who dies. However, I don't think they should just out-and-out refuse to give him one... he should just have a much, much lower rank on the priority list than someone who's more qualified.

    We should really work on developing cloned organs to make this a non-issue, though.
    Actually a liver transplant is not like other organ transplants because livers can grow back from pieces. If a family member donates a liver they are not donating their whole liver but rather a piece of their liver so it can grow into a whole liver while it's in the kid's body.

    ahem.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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