Monday, April 28, 2008

Organ transplants - none if you smoke medicinal pot?

There's a news story ab0ut a man who smokes legally-prescribed medicinal marijuana and desperately needs a liver transplant. However, the hospitals involved are refusing to put him on the waiting list because he smokes pot. The fact that it's medicinal pot that he is smoking BECAUSE he needs the transplant is totally being ignored. One institution said that he could be considered if he didn't smoke for 6 months and the other said that he had to go through a 60 day detox program.

Now, there are many who say this particular person is in this situation because of his own doing and the situations that led him to this. Whether this is the case or not, I believe the story goes much deeper. To me, it means that if you or I, who may not have led the type of life as this man, could be denied lifesaving surgery because of "the rules."

If I am smoking medicinal pot because of the pain and discomfort caused by a need for an organ, pain and discomfort that will go away if the transplant is successful, would I be denied because they won't do transplants on someone who smokes pot?

I do understand that there are limited resources. There was a story on the news last night about how improvements in trauma care is actually keeping people alive who might have died a decade ago and become organ donors. In the whole scheme of things, not that many people sign their organ donor cards either, so we're looking at a serious shortage of donors. But is the "no pot" before surgery realistic if it's medicinal pot?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Preemie pain eased with skin contact
Lumbar supports for low back pain? Wait.
Use medicinal marijuana? Forget about life-saving transplants then
Ortho week begins at Help My Hurt - Joints
7 Links for pain medication safety
Create a pill card to help remember
New medication for opioid-induced constipation
Help My Hurt getting set to host first Living With Pain Blog Carnival

News for Today:

Diabetes diagnoses before motherhood have doubled: U.S. study
Critics concerned about BPA in dental fillings
European Commission grants full approval of HIV protease inhibitor, tipranavir (Aptivus®)
New rheumatoid arthritis drugs work better than standard anti-inflammatories, study suggests
Monitoring AIDS treatment by physical symptoms is effective
Elderly More Likely to Battle Sleep Disorders
Survey suggests 65% of women in the US could have an eating disorder

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's just crazy! It seems weirdly moralistic and punitive for what's supposed to be a medical decision.

And darn it, blogger isn't recognizing me again. I wonder if anyone else is having this problem?