Thursday May 23, 2019

Can a Patient without Donors advertise for Transplantation?

Delhi High court was faced with the question; Can a common citizen without a donor for transplantcan use the help of media to advertise for his/her cause?

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Doctors (representational Image), Pixabay

New Delhi, Mar 4, 2017:  Can the authorities allow a person who has no family donor to advertise to get a volunteer for a kidney transplant? This is a question on which the Delhi High Court looked for the views of the government on Feb 28, this year.

The patient who raised the issue drew the attention of the court to the fact that it is easy in case of celebrities or well-known public figures to get volunteer donors because of media attention but common citizens do not have a right to avail the benefit of such media advertisements.

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Seized with the matter, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, asked the Ministry for Family Health and Welfare to look into various aspects related to the transplantation of kidney raised by the petitioner.

According to PTI reports, The judge also sought the opinion of the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and  the apex centre for registry, procurement and distribution of organs and tissues on the plea of the patient who has narrated his ordeal of 15 long years.

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NOTTO’s response was sought as the patient has prayed for scrapping of the body which maintains a registry of donations and transplantation of tissues and organs.

The patient named Vinod Kumar Anand, has suffered the loss of both of his kidneys and the one donated by his wife due to renal problems.

During the hearing, the patient’s advocate, Ashok Aggarwal, was asked by the court to explore the possibility of kidney exchange between his family and that of someone else who also required the organ.

Kidney exchange or ‘swap’ is a simple barter system in which a swap pair consists of a recipient (patient) and a donor (a family member). A swap transplant like this involves an exchange of organs between two families, who cannot donate the organ to their own family member due to the mismatch of a blood group.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

Next Story

World’s First HIV-to-HIV Kidney Transplant in Maryland

A team from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore performed the surgery March 25

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surgeons, HIV, kidney transplant
Nina Martinez, an organ donor, poses at Johns Hopkins after she participated in the first HIV-positive patient to HIV-positive patient kidney transplant in Baltimore, Maryland, March 28, 2019. VOA

For the first time, a person living with HIV has donated a kidney to a transplant recipient also living with HIV. A team from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore performed the surgery March 25.

“A disease that was a death sentence in the 1980s has become one so well-controlled that those living with HIV can now save lives with kidney donation,” Dr. Dorry Segev, professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said Thursday at a news conference.

Organs have been transplanted from an HIV-positive cadaver to an HIV-positive patient; however, HIV is known to cause kidney disease, so people living with HIV have not previously been able to donate kidneys.

Segev said he and his colleagues researched more than 40,000 people living with HIV, looking specifically at kidney health. They found that people whose HIV was under control have the same health risks as those without HIV, and are healthy enough to donate kidneys. In addition, antiretroviral therapy allows people with HIV to have a normal lifespan.

HIV, kidney transplant, surgeons
Organs have been transplanted from an HIV-positive cadaver to an HIV-positive patient. Pixabay

Stigma of HIV

Dr. Christine Durand, an infectious disease and cancer specialist at Johns Hopkins, said the transplant procedure advances medicine while helping defeat the stigma associated with HIV.

“It challenges providers and the public to see HIV differently,” she said. “Every successful transplant shortens the waitlist for all patients, no matter their HIV status.”

Durand and Segev are leading HOPE in Action, an effort that encompasses multiple national studies exploring the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of HIV-to-HIV transplantation. Currently, HIV to non-HIV organ donations are not legal.

The donor

The kidney donor, Nina Martinez, has had HIV since early childhood. She decided she wanted to be a donor after watching a TV drama about the first living kidney donor with HIV.

“Some people believe that people living with HIV are sick, or look unwell,” said Martinez, who works to eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV. “As a policy advocate, I want people to change what they believe they know about HIV. I don’t want to be anyone’s hero. I want to be someone’s example, someone’s reason to consider donating.”

HIV, kidney transplant, surgeons
A team from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore performed the surgery March 25. Wikimedia

After corresponding with Segev, Martinez traveled to Baltimore last year for an evaluation. The surgical team at Johns Hopkins found that Martinez had healthy kidneys and a very low amount of HIV in her blood.

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People with well-controlled HIV who don’t have a history of diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or protein in their urine could be healthy enough to donate.

Segev said both the donor and the recipient are doing well. The recipient has asked to remain anonymous.

About 113,000 people are on the transplant waiting list in the United States. The longest wait is for a kidney. About 20 Americans die each day while waiting. (VOA)