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RAWN PAWL's solution to "organ crisis"

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emcadaPosted: Jul 15, 2013 - 12:43

Level: 0
Straight from the ex-Congressman's mouth

"Let Market Forces Solve Organ Transplant Crisis

Ten-year old cystic fibrosis patient Sarah Murnaghan captured the nation's attention when federal bureaucrats imposed a de facto death sentence on her by refusing to modify the rules governing organ transplants. The rules in question forbid children under 12 from receiving transplants of adult organs. Even though Sarah's own physician said she was an excellent candidate to receive an adult organ transplant, government officials refused to even consider modifying their rules.

Fortunately, a federal judge intervened so Sarah received the lung transplant. But the welcome decision in this case does not change the need to end government control of organ donations and repeal the federal ban on compensating organ donors.

Supporters of the current system claim that organ donation is too important to be left to the marketplace. But this is nonsensical: if we trust the market to deliver food, shelter, and all other necessities, why should we not trust it to deliver healthcare--including organs?

It is also argued that it is "uncompassionate" or "immoral" to allow patients or insurance companies to provide compensation to donors. But one of the reasons the waiting lists for transplants is so long, with many Americans dying before receiving a transplant, is because of a shortage of organs. If organ donors, or their heirs, were compensated for donating, more people would have an incentive to become organ donors.

Those who oppose allowing patients to purchase organs should ask themselves how compassionate is it to allow those people to die on the transplant waiting list who might otherwise have lived if they were able to obtain organs though private contracts.

Some are concerned that if organ donations were supplied via the market instead of through government regulation, those with lower incomes would be effectively denied access to donated organs. This ignores our current two-tier system for allocating organs, as the wealthy can travel overseas for transplants if they cannot receive a transplant in America. Allowing the free market to alleviate the shortage of organs and reduce the costs of medial procedures like transplants would benefit the middle class and the poor, not the wealthy.

The costs of obtaining organs would likely be covered by most health insurance plans, thus reducing the costs directly borne by individual patients. Furthermore, if current federal laws distorting the health care market are repealed, procedures such as transplants would be much more affordable. Expanded access to health savings accounts and flexible savings accounts, combined with generous individual tax deductions and credits, would also make it easier for people to afford health care procedures such as transplants.

There is also some hypocrisy in the argument against allowing market forces in organ transplants. Everyone else involved in organ transplantation procedures, including doctors, nurses, and even the hospital janitor, receives compensation. Not even the most extreme proponent of government-provided health care advocates forcing medical professionals to provide care without compensation. Hospitals and other private institutions provide compensation for blood and plasma donations, and men and women are compensated for donations to fertility clinics, so why not allow compensation for organ donation?

Sarah Murnaghan's case shows the fallacy in thinking that a free-market system for organ donations is less moral or less effective than a government-controlled system. It is only the bureaucrats who put adherence to arbitrary rules ahead of the life of a ten-year old child. It is time for Congress to wake up and see that markets work better in all aspects of healthcare, including organ donation, just as they work better in providing all other goods and services."
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anticultistPosted: Jul 15, 2013 - 14:36

Brainwashing you for money

Level: 15
CS Original
In related news I stumbled across this the other day.

Scientists grow 'tiny livers' from human stem cells
13 July, 2013

"Tiny functioning human livers have been grown from stem cells in the laboratory," BBC News reports.

This story is based on a study that used stem cells generated from adult human cells to grow a tiny "bud" of liver cells with its own blood vessels. Scientists successfully did this in the lab and found that the liver bud joined up with a mouse's blood system when it was transplanted. Once this happened, the transplanted liver bud could also perform some of the functions that a normal liver does, like breaking down drug molecules.

The human liver is a large organ with many essential functions and, while resilient, once it has received too much damage it can fail. For example, a leading cause of liver failure is prolonged alcohol abuse. Once liver failure occurs, the only current treatment option is a liver transplant. But the demand for donated livers far outstrips supply.

Researchers hope to one day grow replacement organs in the laboratory, ideally from a patient's own cells. This research is another step in this direction, but there is still a long way to go. The liver tissue grown in the current study was very small, and much more research is needed before it could be tested in humans.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine and other research centres in Japan. It was funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, the Takeda Science Foundation, the Japan IDDM network, and the Yokohama Foundation for Advanced Medical Science.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature, and was generally well reported in the media, with just a few issues of note.

The Daily Telegraph story suggests that: "Patients suffering from liver failure could be injected with tiny replacement organs grown from their own stem cells within the next 10 years following new research." Although promising, the research is still only at an early stage. So, it is difficult to know whether this "10-year" predication is realistic.

Also, the Daily Mail suggests that using this tissue to test new medicines will be able to prevent "disasters such as the 'Elephant Man' drug trial, in which six men were left fighting for their lives". But this type of liver tissue has not yet been used in drugs trials, so whether it could potentially be used in this way is not yet clear.

Even if it is does eventually become used for this purpose, it could not predict all drug side effects. For example, the "Elephant Man" trial mentioned by the Mail was thought to be related to an effect on the human immune system, not an effect on the liver.

What kind of research was this?

This was an animal study in which researchers attempted to grow a functional piece of human liver tissue in mice.

There is a significant shortage of organ donors, so researchers would like to be able to grow whole functioning human organs from stem cells. Stem cells are cells that have the potential to divide and develop into any type of cell in the body.

Although there has been a lot of progress in stem cell research, it has not yet been possible to grow a three-dimensional organ with its blood vessels. The researchers wanted to try to achieve this with human liver tissue.

For more information on recent advances in stem cell science, read our special report, Hope and hype.

What did the research involve?

In this study, researchers used human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to develop and divide, forming small clumps of liver cells. These cells were then transplanted into mice. The researchers wanted to see if the cells would grow into functional liver tissue with its own blood supply.

The researchers grew the human-induced stem cells in the laboratory in conditions that would prompt the cells to start developing into liver cells. They grew them along with the sorts of supporting cells that would be present in normal liver development, as this would promote their development into liver cells. The researchers wanted to see if these cells would form small clumps called "liver buds", similar to what happens in human embryo development when the liver is forming.

The researchers then intended to test these buds to see if the cells had the characteristics of normal human liver buds. These characteristics included the genes that became "active" and the proteins the cells produced.

They also wanted to see if the liver buds would develop their own blood vessels, again similar to what would happen in human embryo development when the liver is forming.

If the liver buds did develop blood vessels, the researchers planned to transplant them into mice to see if their blood vessels would join up with the mouse's own blood supply. They proposed to then test whether these liver buds could perform some of the functions that a normal liver performs.

What were the basic results?

The researchers found they could successfully grow three-dimensional liver buds that resembled the liver buds seen in normal human liver development.

The cells in these buds had a pattern of gene activity similar to what would be expected in a developing liver, and contained the different types of cells they would expect to see. The buds also developed their own blood vessels.

When the researchers transplanted the liver buds into the mice, their blood vessels joined onto the mice's blood supply within two days of being transplanted.

This prompted the immature liver buds to develop into tissue resembling a mature adult liver. This liver tissue was able to do some of the things that the normal human liver does, such as breaking down drugs given to the mice.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that - to their knowledge - this was the first study to generate a functional human organ from pluripotent stem cells.

They say that further efforts are needed to be able to translate their techniques into a procedure that can be used for human patients.


This study has developed a technique that allows scientists to generate an immature liver bud with its own blood vessels in the laboratory using human-induced stem cells. The scientists were then able to successfully transplant the liver buds into mice and join it up to the mice's blood system. When tested, these transplanted liver buds performed some of the functions of normal liver tissue. This is reportedly the first time that this has been achieved.

Because of the shortage of organ donors, researchers would like to be able to grow replacement organs in the laboratory. The difficulties posed by matching a donor's tissue with the recipient's means that laboratory-grown organs would ideally be made from a patient's own cells.

This current research is another step in this direction, but there is still a long way to go. The human liver is a large organ with many essential functions. The liver tissue grown in the current study was small, and much more research will need to go into developing the technique to the stage where it could be used in humans. This will include more research to make sure that lab-grown livers can do all the things our bodies need to survive.

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