Should alcoholics receive organ transplants?

Asked by: shogunibz
  • Alcoholism is a disease

    From a medical stance I would believe that being as alcoholism is a disease it should be treated as such. Is not trauma and disease the very reason transplants exist? So I guess the question is whether or not its a worthy disease if self inflicted. I believe many diseases are self inflicted and its unfair to single out alcoholism. People don't wish to have cancer just as people don't wish to be alcoholics.

    From an ethical point of view. Well we all make poor choices at some time or another. Especially in our younger years. I would hate to think that the 23 year old me going to college keg parties was inadvertently giving the 50 year old me an irreversible death sentence. I would like to believe that we live in a forgiving nation, that if it could would offer up a second chance. For these reasons I don't believe that people suffering from the disease of alcoholism should be sentenced to death. It is not for us to play God and decide who gets to live. If we have a chance to save someone then that is what we should do.

  • Of course they should

    Alcholism is a disease. Cancer obesity STDs giv t diseases offenly subjected to ur life choices as is alcoholism. Alcoholics didn't choose to be alcoholics. It consumed them its frightening when u need alcohol to be able to function, most alcoholics had a rough time whih sparked there drinking, they deserve life just as any other human being,I'm sure if ur loved ones suffered from alcoholism u would no they were depressed and refrained from evey enjoyable thing in life, the alcohol consumed them and it is uncontrollable,this is coming from a 24 yr old alcoholic who was lucky enough to have fibrosis not cirohsis and has been sober for 1 year. Don't let alcohol consume you,and if you need help u must get it. Cold turkey is impossible for true alcoholics. U will seizure and hopefully there is a ER physician nearby. No the risk of cold turkey above all. We r human like anyone else we make mistakes like anyone else. We deserve life like anyone else

  • Alcoholism is a disease too.

    I thought the latest medical opinion places alcoholism in the category of a disease. We can treat the alcoholic for his disease after a transplant with the intension of curing that disease as well. When we have the technology to save a life, we should do all we can to make that happen.I believe we should not give up on anybody, what we do need is more donors.
    James W Breckenridge
    President and CEO
    The Canadian Transplant Society

  • ... Or even three eyes.

    Well, I don't see alcoholism as a disease. Alcohol addiction is just an activation of our reward systems after all, and thus with a sufficiently strong motivation quitting is likely. Quitting a disease however generally won't work. Alcohol may be gloryfied, but everyone knows the risks and ignores them.

    From a medical viewpoint: Mostly no. Being fully pragmatic, if an alcoholic can be expected to keep on drinking, his organ transplant has a lower "usage" expectancy than if it was transplanted into a non-alcoholic. If a liver transplant inside an alcoholic will need to be replaced after about 20 years while it could have saved another life in its entirety, then I feel obliged to say no.

    From an ethical viewpoint: Yes, but only if the alcoholic's need for an organ is severe, and if all other patients, who need a similar one, will sufficiently likely receive another one some time after without getting critical, for the reasons above.

    So I say yes, alcoholics should receive organs in general, but with keeping two open eyes on fairness.

  • What's the point?

    1. Person smokes, drinks or does drugs.
    2. They destroy their organs and need transplantation.
    3. They get new organs.
    4. They return to their everyday habit.
    5. They destroy even the transplanted organ.

    Nothing changes. Sure they need the organs or their lives will be in danger, but they will just waste someone other's possible future, because they will take it for granted. And it is unlikely possible that addicts will have a sudden "change of heart" overnight.

    Posted by: wwmd
  • Too much ignorance!

    Alcoholism is known for causing serious damage to various organs. The organs to be affected the most are probably the liver, kidney and brain (of course brain transplants aren't possible... Yet). So if someone is an alcoholic, they're generally aware about the damage it can do to there body, yet they choose to ignore it. This means they're ignorant to obvious dangers, yet may still expect the medical attention they require, even though it was their own fault that they need the treatment. However, doctors take oaths, that swear them to do all they can for their patients. So it could be seen as inhumane to refuse a person the treatment they need if it is available. In my personal opinion, they shouldn't be allowed the transplant, but many people would disagree.

  • From an ethical and medical veiwpoint.

    I am writing a dissertation on the ethics behind organ transplants and I require the help of the public and your opinion. Feel free to voice your opinion as much as possible as I will be carefully reviewing your opinion and may be using it in the project as a form of primary research.

    From an medical and ethical veiwpoint would be preffered.

    Happy debating.

  • No they should not

    Firstly alcoholics make themselves alcoholics, just the same as smoker's begin and continue smoking, their need for organ transplantation is directly linked to poor life choices not by an illness they have caught or developed but by their continued drinking. Why should a perfectly good organ go to someone who is only going to abuse that organ too as they continue drinking. Organs should go to recipients who deserve them and will appreciate the new lease of life the transplant has given them

  • There the reason

    If you start drinking and cant stop and this goes on for weeks, months, years then you have a problem. You started it and its not fair for others who have a internal problems that need those organ transplants more than you. And when your diagnosed they think Oh woah is me! Well not really because woah is me thought that drinking large amounts everyday tastes good and you feel funny afterwards. Be more responsible and let the people who have true problems be able to get the help they need before a stupid choice person.

  • They are making a decision to harm themselves

    When drinking, people are aware of the harm that alcohol can cause so why would they be given the chance to receive transplants? In my opinion it is a harmful drug that makes you have less control over your actions the only reason it is legal is because the government can tax it.

  • I'm sure they know what they're doing.

    I think organ transplants should not be given to alcoholics as, when ingesting alcohol, they are knowledgably causing themselves non necessary harm. Millions of £/$ are spent each year on health promotion campaigns designed to deter alcoholism by informing people of the consequence of alcoholism. Additional healthcare costs for organ transplants and less serious stuff as well is not practical. People have enough warnings to see the hazards of alcohol and can contrast their situation with those of non drinkers who are usually high flyers. Health risks from alcohol cause self inflicted harm and also potential harm to unborn children; the diseases caused by alcoholism can be passed on genetically. If a person has a liver defect due to a genetic disease hat is totally different however and the greatest of condolence to them for not being able to choose their parents. People do have the choice and should listen to what is being said to them, if not maybe they can exemplify the seriousness of life choices when they have jaundice.

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