Art Caplan has a new opinion piece up at nbcnews.com. In “Ethicist: Teens have high failure rates after organ transplants — but cut them some slack,” Caplan responds to a recent study showing that teen organ recipients have much higher failture rates than recipients in other age groups:
Remember the long fight over whether Sarah Murnaghan, the little 10-year-old girl from suburban Philadelphia who was dying from cystic fibrosis, should have a shot at getting a transplant from lungs taken from an adult? The fight hinged in part on whether there was sufficient evidence to show that adult lungs would work as well in Sarah, who is still struggling to recover from two lung transplants, as they would in another adult where they would fit better. Some, including me, argued that the best way to allocate scarce lungs for Sarah or anyone else is to determine who is most likely to live if they get them.
That may seem a sensible ethical policy to use when there are not enough organs for all. But there is a new study out that calls into question the merits of an efficacy-only rationing policy.
Read the full article here.