The New York health department proposed new regulations to protect people who decide to donate part of their liver to a patient needing a transplant. The regulations, which could become final in December after a public-comment period, include a requirement that a team of patient advocates determine whether a potential donor understands the medical, financial and social risks and is psychologically prepared to undertake them. The team of advocates, which would include a physician, a social worker, a psychiatrist and a liver-transplant coordinator, could not block a transplant procedure. But the team's opposition would be included in a report to the surgeon, who would have to justify a decision to override the concerns. The state's health commissioner sought the regulations after a newspaper reporter died at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center in early 2002 from complications of donating part of his liver to his brother. An investigation found that post-surgical care was inadequate. The proposed rules require minimum staffing ratios for post-operative care as well as for surgical and anesthesia teams. -- by John Morrissey
N.Y. proposes new rules to protect liver donors
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.