Death of a living liver donor from illicit drugs.
In children with acute hepatic failure, it has been suggested to offer living donor transplantation to all parents when a deceased donor organ can not be provided. Ethically, living related donation is coercive by its very nature, especially in emergencies. We report a 36-year-old woman who died from a drug overdose 57 days after living donor liver resection. The recipient was her 3-year-old son, who experienced acute hepatic failure as a result of acetaminophen intoxication. A deceased donor organ had not become available within 2 days after listing. Was the death of this living donor preventable or unpreventable? Certainly if the mother had decided not to take drugs, she would not have died from an overdose. One could argue that this was her personal choice, and beyond our influence. On the other hand, if we had not performed the surgery, the recipient might have died without receiving a liver transplant in time.
Ringe, B; Petrucci, RJ; Soriano, HE; Reynolds, JC; Meyers, WC
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