To transplant or not to transplant

Last year 1117 Australian received a donor organ. That’s an incredibly high number! Of course the transplant specialists will say it’s fantastic that so many donor organs were available, giving all these people a new chance for life. But organ transplants aren’t just good. This technique has also negative sides.

I won’t go into the ethics of organ transplants, as this is not the place for that. What I want to talk about is how it’s possible that the waiting lists for a transplants are so extremely high! When someone dies while being on such a waiting lists you will hear “he died because there wasn’t a donor organ available”, but that’s simply not true. The person died because of organ failure. And the sad truth is that more and more people suffer failure of one or more organs.

But when do you ever hear about that? You read articles about the blessings of organ donations, but you never read about the cause or organ failure. But as the population gets sicker and sicker, the waiting lists for organ transplants gets higher and higher and there is no way the number of donors will ever keep up with that. So when will doctors and scientist start looking at the cause of this disaster, instead of just calling for more registered donors? Some people have organ failure because of an accident, poisoning or something like that, but that’s just a very small part of the transplant patients. Most organ failure simply happens because of lifestyle and environment. Organ failure is just as much a modern disease as most other chronic conditions. If we would clean up the environment and clean up our lives than the waiting lists for organ transplants would disappear, because there would be enough donors for the few people who would need a new organ.

070813OrganTransplantmaster-1373296079007Another very negative side of organ transplants is the immuno-suppressive drugs that he patients need to take for the rest of their lives, to avoid rejection. Not only do these drugs make the patients very vulnerable for all kinds of other diseases, but these drugs also end up in the environment. The body cannot properly break down these unnatural substances and small amounts will end up in the urine and from there in the environment. That means that we all consume tiny amounts of immuno-suppressive substances on a daily basis. What will that do with our immune systems? Nobody knows, for nobody looks into it. For if they would research this and it would appear that this is disastrous for the whole population, then what could be done? Stopping with transplants wouldn’t be an option for the doctors. So why do research if you won’t do anything with the results?

Instead of more and more transplants it would be better if patients would be told how to cure themselves with drastic lifestyle changes. Especially dietary changes can do miracles and quite a few people have been taken off transplant lists because they didn’t need the donor organ anymore. Wouldn’t you expect stories like this to make the headlines? Wouldn’t every patient rather have their own fully functioning organs than getting a transplant? But nobody tells them, because many doctors aren’t even aware of it. And if they do know, they aren’t interested. For there is much more fame, prestige and money in doing organ transplants than in curing a patient.

Organ transplants aren’t just good. And they aren’t just bad. But it would be nice to hear a balanced story. And for your information: yes, I’m a registered organ donor and I won’t change that till I have made up mind about how bad these transplants are.

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