Is this your Liver Donor Card?

CNN.com – Man launches multimedia search for liver – Aug 12, 2004
Reminding me darkly of a Month Python sketch, this unfortunate has liver cancer, and has to get a new liver or die. It’s that simple.

I applaud his, and his families’, courage and determination. I know I’d do everything possible to get a transplant for my family member, so this makes sense on an emotional level. Also, as has been pointed out, even if the individual seeing tthese ads (billboards in Houston) doesn’t have a spare liver, it will sensitize them to the issue of transplant waiting lists, etc.

Setting emotions aside, this should not change what we do in the ED, or in the organ donation organizations. I understand the idea of directed, non-family donations, and I also understand that the organ donor organizations don’t want to say “no, this recovered alcoholic will die this week without a new liver, while your relative has several weeks left.”

I’d be interested to know whether this aspect of their approach makes you more or less interested in a directed donation: from their site:

You can help! Unfortunately, tragedies happen every day. If you hear of anyone that is in a situation where they could be a donor, they or their family can request that the liver be designated…

What do you think?

Update in the comments.