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Still Waters

Transplants for alcoholic liver patients

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People with a severe alcohol-related liver disease will be eligible for liver transplants for the first time in the UK under a pilot scheme.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said only those under 40 who had not previously been treated for a drink problem would be eligible.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...health-26884058

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Good. It's a life saving treatment for a disease ... when it works? Seems like the compassionate and right thing to do. (imo)

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Good. It's a life saving treatment for a disease ... when it works? Seems like the compassionate and right thing to do. (imo)

I agree addiction to alcohol or it's behaviour altering effects is a physical / chemical issue and not just a simple matter of choice - show some compassion for someone whose original illness "alcoholism" created a side effect that damaged their liver.

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Isn't there a very long waiting list for transplants? Why would you give one to a person who has deliberately destroyed theirs unless there was no one else waiting?

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Isn't there a very long waiting list for transplants? Why would you give one to a person who has deliberately destroyed theirs unless there was no one else waiting?

That's a very mean way of seeing things.

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I think the alcohol itself is a choice, but the addictive tendencies are hard-wired.

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I have chronic Hepatitis B that I got somehow during the American war in Vietnam and have carried it ever since. I don't drink or smoke but still am at a probability of one day having liver cancer. I would like to think I would be higher on such a list since I would be less likely to need a second transplant than someone who continues drinking. At this point my age would probably disqualify me. Is that fair? I dunno.

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That's a very mean way of seeing things.

Why is it mean? If no one else is waiting for the liver then by all means let them have it. But here's what the numbers show

How long does a person wait for a liver transplant?

The waiting time for a liver transplant is different for each person. The time a person spends on the waiting list depends on his or her blood type, body size, stage of liver disease, overall health, and the availability of a matching liver. In the United States, there are more people who need a liver transplant than there are donated livers. There are currently over 16,000 Americans on the waiting list for a liver transplant.

If someone has a perfectly good liver and they choose to destroy it to the point of them needing a transplant, then how is it wrong to expect them to live with the choice they made? The liver should go to someone who had no choice first.

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They do not choose to destroy their liver, that's what I think is mean. They have an addiction. And we are talking about a special program for young (under 40) alcohol addicts. They deserve a transplant as much as anyone else.

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Posted (edited)

Yes they do. Even if you have an addiction, there's plenty of help available to stop drinking. There are plenty of programs. Many functional alcoholics don't destroy their liver. You have to really drink a lot to do that. If they don't care about abusing and destroying their own body, why should someone else who has no fault in their liver failure, have to die because someone refused to stop drinking?

If you need a liver transplant before the age of 40, you have done major damage to your body from drinking.

Edited by Cassea

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Do you have any experience with additcions, or with people suffering from them? You do not simply refuse to stop drinking. It's a disease.

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But here's what the numbers show

You've quoted figures from USA, this article is about patients in the UK.

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Yes I do and you are wrong. Every alcoholic that has stopped drinking had to make the choice to stop. That's the only requirement for attending an AA meeting. The desire to stop drinking. Nothing starts until that happens. You know this is true , so take your trifling pity party elsewhere. I'm not interested. LOL

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You've quoted figures from USA, this article is about patients in the UK.

Yes I know, find your numbers. A victim of liver failure should never have to get in line behind someone who ruined their own liver.

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Do you have any experience with additcions, or with people suffering from them? You do not simply refuse to stop drinking. It's a disease.

Like obesity is a disease? Heroin junkies, cigarette smokers and all manner of pill addicts have success stories of quitting cold turkey. I don't know of many actual "diseases" that you can flush out of your body through sheer power of will.

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Posted (edited)

http://www.theguardi...nt-waiting-list

When I was put on the transplant waiting list in February, my prospects were good. The tumour had been picked up early. At 49, I'm relatively young and fit – I haven't drunk alcohol for 15 years, haven't smoked in 20. Patients in my blood group, B, were being transplanted quite quickly, about every three or four months. The NHS was going to save my life.

Seven months later, things look very different. At the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, the transplant centre where I am a patient, blood group B transplants are down compared with previous years. For some reason, no one quite understands, there is now a shortage of blood group B organs in the UK.

I am heading for a crisis and so is the system. Patient numbers on the "B" list are growing and with that waiting times. This carries a lethal significance. In my case, if the tumour were to grow beyond a certain diameter, I would no longer be eligible for a transplant as the risk of cancer spreading to other organs would be considered too great.

There are 8,067 patients on the transplant waiting list: 6,974 need a new kidney, 380 need a liver, 279 need a kidney and pancreas, 240 need a lung or pair of lungs and 105 need a heart.

The number on the transplant list has soared from 5,700 in 2004.

The UK has one of the lowest organ donor rates in the western world. About 1,000 people a year die waiting to receive one.

There were 3,513 transplant operations in 2008-09, involving 1,854 donors. In 954 cases, the kidney or liver transplanted came from a relative, friend or even stranger. A healthy person can survive donating part of their liver to someone else, as their's grows back quickly to full size, as does the donated section.

Edited by Cassea

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Posted (edited)

Like obesity is a disease? Heroin junkies, cigarette smokers and all manner of pill addicts have success stories of quitting cold turkey. I don't know of many actual "diseases" that you can flush out of your body through sheer power of will.

Not every addiction can be beaten through sheer power of will.

Edit: Obesity can be the result of many medical conditions. And eating disorders are diseases as well.

I just want to say that we shouldn't get into a mindframe of valueing what caused a problem. All problems should be treated the same.

Edited by FLOMBIE

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There are treatment programs everywhere. You don't surprise yourself with liver failure from drinking, it's gradual. No excuses.

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there are other causes of liver failure that can result from what you're describing as deliberate choice, cassea. should diabetics who may owe part of their condition to their lifestyle also be punished? or is it just the alcoholics?

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there are other causes of liver failure that can result from what you're describing as deliberate choice, cassea. should diabetics who may owe part of their condition to their lifestyle also be punished? or is it just the alcoholics?

That's a great point. How about those who have a need a heart transplant but have obviously not been keeping in tip top condition. Those with skin cancer who worked in the sun for years. Coal miners with lung problems. I could go on and on about issues due to choices made.

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Just the alcoholics, alcoholism isn't a disease. That's the new spin on adults who don't want take responsibility for their life choices. It's easier to pretend its a disease than take responsibility. Since when is selfish, indulgent irresponsible behavior a "disease" GMAB It's only called a disease to take away some of the "shame' so they will get help and stop abusing innocent bystanders

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That's a great point. How about those who have a need a heart transplant but have obviously not been keeping in tip top condition. Those with skin cancer who worked in the sun for years. Coal miners with lung problems. I could go on and on about issues due to choices made.

Ridiculous comparisons and you know it, stop playing games. We're not talking a lifetime that caught up with you because you were careless or lazy. They are talking people under 40 who have so destroyed their liver from alcohol it no longer functions Even hardcore old alcoholics don't always achieve that. They most likely will destroy the new liver as well. Darwinism at work.

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Just the alcoholics, alcoholism isn't a disease. That's the new spin on adults who don't want take responsibility for their life choices. It's easier to pretend its a disease than take responsibility. Since when is selfish, indulgent irresponsible behavior a "disease" GMAB It's only called a disease to take away some of the "shame' so they will get help and stop abusing innocent bystanders

well, disease may not be the correct term. but there is certainly a lot of evidence pointing to the idea that there is a genetic predisposition to addiction, just as there is to obesity and other potentially harmful conditions, including diabetes. so why is that you only think the alcoholics don't deserve to live?

fyi, i am a recovering alcoholic. just so you know.

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Posted (edited)

How did you stop drinking? You chose to right? Even if you had been forced into a rehab hospital, once you left it was up to you. You know as well as I do that some addicts have done so much damage in their lives that the only way they can come to terms with themselves is to call it a disease. This creates the impetus for admitting they are helpless over it. Which allows them to seek help. But if it was a disease, self control would be useless against it.

Edited by Cassea

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Posted (edited)

Ridiculous comparisons and you know it, stop playing games. We're not talking a lifetime that caught up with you because you were careless or lazy. They are talking people under 40 who have so destroyed their liver from alcohol it no longer functions Even hardcore old alcoholics don't always achieve that. They most likely will destroy the new liver as well. Darwinism at work.

Not so ridiculous. Your main claim is that they "CHOSE" to do this. There are obese people under 40. There are skin cancer victims under 40. It's no secret that eating unhealthy leads to obesity and other body issues.

Edited by Myles
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