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Organ transplant surgery doctor medical dr. 370 (R).(Photo by: Keith Bedford / Reuters)
Panel to discuss age limits for receiving organ transplants
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
06/27/2013
The Health Ministry has appointed a public committee to make recommendations on whether there should continue to be a cutoff age for certain organ transplants.
The Health Ministry has appointed a public committee to make recommendations on whether there should continue to be a cutoff age for certain organ transplants.

The steering committee of the Israel Transplant Center, headed by Rambam Medical Center director-general Prof.

Rafael Beyar, initiated the question by asking ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu, who decided to appoint the committee.

At present, because of the shortage of donor organs, criteria determine their allocation, including the medical urgency of the transplant, the amount of time the would-be recipient has been waiting, suitability according to blood and tissue type and others.

Various age limits had been set for each organ.

The issue of age was publicized most recently when the former head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, who had liver cancer, went to Belarus for a transplant because he was older than the limit for that organ. He has completely recovered.

The committee is to investigate whether age limits are still relevant along with their legal and ethical aspects, and whether they should be changed or discontinued.

The committee is to be headed by attorney Dr. Eyal Katvan, an expert in bioethics, and to consist of 25 members from fields including medicine, law, ethics, Halacha, gerontology, sociology. Other members include the elderly and former transplant recipients.

During their deliberations, the committee is to invite the general public to voice their views on the subject.
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