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"Transplantation and Mental Retardation: What Is the Meaning of a Discrimination?" - open issue.

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demoleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-29-10 07:40 AM
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"Transplantation and Mental Retardation: What Is the Meaning of a Discrimination?" - open issue.
Edited on Sat May-29-10 07:41 AM by demoleft
the question was raised back in 2009 by three doctors, Nicola Panocchia, Maurizio Bossola and Giacomo Vivanti, on the American Journal of Transplantation.

The issue of transplantation for patients affected by mental retardation (MR) has been and continues to be a matter of discussion.

The recent policy of the Veneto region, a highly populated area in northern Italy, indicates that patients with MR are not eligible for any transplant of solid organs, indicating intelligence quotient (IQ) <50 as absolute and IQ <70 as a relative exclusion criteria.

In the present study, we review current conceptualizations of MR, along with the current knowledge on transplantation in this population. Finally, we will review the international guidelines on this matter and discuss the social, ethical and political significance of such policy, arguing that it discriminates persons affected by MR.

the region veneto rejects any accusation of discrimination: these delicate cases are evaluated one by one.

now what fuels discussion is the ethical and/or practical point of view on the matter.
given the scarce availability of organs, who has a right to have one transplanted?

the one immediately in need, and so anyone - according to the principle that people are all equal and have the same rights?
or the one who can reasonably get an improvement of life expectancy from the transplantation, as the leading guideline goes for this kind of treatment?

in the latter case - is it a form of discrimination? and in the first, is it a form of betraying the will of the donor, or even a form of "violence", that is to transplant an organ on a person who's got no full mastering perception of what's going on on his/her body, considering also the next heavy painful and risky follow-ups of a transplantation?

as to me, i'm for the first approach. but the issue is open, and matter for discussion, in italy.

source for the article:

source of the italian article on the issue:

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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-29-10 07:46 AM
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1. No One Has a Right To a Transplant. Period.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-29-10 09:29 AM
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2. One could also argue whether or not
an alcoholic has a right to a liver transplant.

It's not like people intentionally set out to become alcoholics, any more than MR population set out to be the way they are.

I dunno. It's an issue with lots of ethical gray areas that I don't have a concrete answer for, unfortunately.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-29-10 09:47 AM
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3. Donation of a loved one's organs is a very weighty decision
My best friend donated her son's organs when he died in a car accident. It's "assumed" that these precious commodities will go to people who are deserving, as well as needful of them.

Of course tissue typing is foremost, but if it comes down to a choice of recipients, doctors "play God" all the time..

A liver is more likely to be transplanted into an otherwise healthy younger person who has NO history of alcoholism. Why "waste" a liver on someone who might just destroy the new one?

And someone whose mental capacity may not be up to the task of maintaining the rigorous drug routine that follows a transplant, might be an issue for some doctors.

It sucks that there will always be some people excluded, but it's just the way it is.. UNLESS you are rich and/or famous (those people seem to always rise to the top of any list)
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