Radio 4 prog tonight about High Risk kidney transplants

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Radio 4 prog tonight about High Risk kidney transplants

Postby bigbuzzard » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:34 pm

"Inside the Ethics Committee"
Radio 4 tonight at 9pm
Or here on the iPlayer for (I think) the next 7 days:

Joan Bakewell discusses the thorny ethical issues in the real life case of a young woman called Charlotte who needs a kidney transplant.

Since her kidneys failed she has to spend every night attached to a dialysis machine. Dialysis is by no means perfect and her long term outlook is bleak. Doctors do not expect her to be alive in a decade. Her only hope is a kidney transplant from a living donor.

But Charlotte is an extremely high risk patient. She suffers from a severe form of antiphospholipid syndrome or 'sticky blood'. There is a high chance that a transplanted organ will fail if it is transplanted into Charlotte, and she could even lose her life.

Is it ethical to offer Charlotte a kidney transplant? Whether the organ comes from the cadaver waiting list or a live donor, is this the best use of a precious resource when there is a high chance the organ will fail?

Joan Bakewell is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the complex ethical issues arising from the case.

Dr Deborah Bowman (
John Forsythe - Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (
Fiona Loud - The Kidney Alliance (
BBC News – ‘Missed disease put me at risk’
Mr John Forsythe, Clinical Director of Transplant Services at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Past President of the British Transplantation Society and is currently a Council Member of the European Society for Organ Transplantation. He has written and lectured on the ethics of transplants.

Fiona Loud, Chair of The Kidney Alliance. Fiona received a kidney transplant from her husband 3 years ago.

Deborah Bowman, Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law at St George's Hospital University of London.
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