Committee deems age shouldn't factor in chance to receive organ donation

If recommendations accepted, all ages to be eligible to receive a donated organ.

By JUDY SEIGEL-ITZKOVICH
January 8, 2014 18:51
1 minute read.
AN ISRAELI doctor

AN ISRAELI doctor 370. (photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)

 
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Maximum ages for receiving donated organs should be canceled, according to a public committee’s recommendation to the Health Ministry that was announced on Wednesday.

The committee, headed by Dr. Eyal Katvan, presented its recommendations to ministry director-general Prof.

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Ronni Gamzu and to the chairman of the Israel Transplant Center, Prof. Rafael Beyar (who is also director- general of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa).

If the recommendations are accepted, people of any age will be eligible to receive a donated organ – although availability is limited by the lack of donations. Who receives an available organ has until now been determined by a formula and point system that included the age of the patient. The older the potential recipient, the less chance he had of getting an organ. Nearly 1,000 Israelis die in an average year while waiting for organs for transplantation. If the suggestions become ministry practice, the loss of points for being older will be eliminated.

Six months ago, Gamzu appointed the committee to rethink the criterion of age according to medical, legal and ethical considerations.

Katvan is a jurist from the Academic Center for Law and Business and an expert in bioethics, medicine and law.

The committee had 25 members in the fields of medicine, law, Halacha, ethics, gerontology and sociology as well as representatives of organ recipients and the elderly.



The panel also heard the views of the general public.

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