Session Name: Non-Organ Specific: Public Policy & Allocation
Session Type: Poster Abstract
Date: Monday, June 6, 2022
Session Time: 7:00pm-8:00pm
Presentation Time: 7:00pm-8:00pm
Location: Hynes Halls C & D
*Purpose: The study’s purpose is to discover if making it possible for organ donor families to contact their recipients — when both sides express the desire to do so — is therapeutic for both sides. In the United States it is strongly encouraged. In most other countries it is either discouraged or made impossible legally.
*Methods: I am the father of a seven-year old American boy, Nicholas Green, who was shot while we were on vacation in Italy in 1994 and whose organs and corneas went to seven very sick Italians, four of them teenagers. My wife and I have met them all. I have spent the last 27 years — full-time — meeting donor families and recipients, writing articles for some of the most authoritative medical journals, (including the AMA Journal) and some of the world’s leading lay publications, gathering information to make half a dozen groundbreaking documentaries and write two books (one of which was jointly published with UNOS and the other was the basis for the Jamie Lee Curtis television movie, “Nicholas’ Gift”) interviewing transplant families around the world, speaking at high-level conferences, being interviewed (the BBC World Service, the leading Russian television channel. Buddhist television in Taiwan etc) — and learning whatever else I can that will encourage organ donation. For more please see our website nicholasgreen.org.
*Results: Of the tens of thousands of cases where consenting families have contacted each other either by letter or in person and under conditions set by the health authorities the results have been positive for both sides in the great majority of cases. This conclusion is corroborated by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations and its members but is largely unknown in the rest of the world either by the medical community or the general public.
*Conclusions: An international effort should be made to bring this subject to the attention of health authorities and the public around the world. It can be done: when I started a similar campaign in Italy in 2016 not a single health organization gave me support. I presented to them the arguments and evidence that I would use to this conference. Now all those Italian organizations most closely involved in transplantation — the National Bioethics Committee, the National Transplantation Center, the National Institute of Health as well as the Italian Government — have come out in support of the liberalization of contacts similar to the American system. [Please see attached statement by the Italian Deputy Minister of Health.]
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Green R. Contacts Between Organ Donor Families and Their Recipients is Therapeutic for Both Sides in Most Cases [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2022; 22 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/contacts-between-organ-donor-families-and-their-recipients-is-therapeutic-for-both-sides-in-most-cases/. Accessed February 22, 2024.
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