Friday, June 06, 2008

With a little help from my friends

A couple of quick things that have crossed through my email;

If an individual is hit by a car and dies and that car leaves the scene (hit and run) it is a homicide (particularly in coroner’s parlance), but if an individual is hit by a car and the driver stays it is an accident.


NYC considers ‘organ-removal’ ambulance; Wagon would rush to scene of death, preserve body for transplant use

They got a federal grant to study if it would be workable to have a part of their city ambulance service be a quick response team to keep a body perfused so that organ procurement can take place.

Saving the living has always been the No. 1 priority for a New York City ambulance crew. But a select group of paramedics may soon have a different task altogether: saving the dead.
The city is considering creating a special ambulance whose crew would rush to collect the newly deceased and preserve the body so that the organs might be taken for transplant…

The transplant ambulance would turn up at the scene of a death mere minutes after regular paramedics ceased efforts to resuscitate a patient. The team would begin work almost immediately, administering drugs and performing chest compressions intended to keep the organs viable.

An interesting concept, but I don’t know that I would support it. As the article says it raises a “host of ethical questions”. And is to be limited to “cardiac arrest patients who die of natural causes”, but that is not always as evident as you might think at first review in the field. While I certainly support doing all we can to maximize the number of organs available for transplant. I am not sure this is the way to do it.

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