How do u fell about a alcoholic receiving a liver transplant??

  1. I am doing a project for my last semester of nursing school and my group has the hypothetical pt of "the pt is an alcoholic and wants a liver transplant" ...Please state if u agree that the pt should/ shouldn't...why...and if u think that under certain cicumstances the pt should please list....thanks so much

    If anyone is a nurse and deals w/ this kinda thing plz if I could have an email or something to contact u about the details...would be awsome!! thanks everyone!
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   jmgrn65
    Well hypothetically I would not want them to have the transplant unless they have proven that they haven't drank for awhile.
    In Reality, not everyone that needs a transplant can just get one, they have to have a suport system in place, they have to prove that they aren't currently using alcohol or drugs, they have to go thru a lot of tests and procedure it is a very difficult process.
  4. by   sunnyjohn
    An alcoholic would never pass the screening to get on the UNOS list.

    "The paitient should be counseled to stop his/her drinking and put in a program to help him become sober."
  5. by   leslie :-D
    from my understanding, the pt goes through a series of tests, to determine if s/he will return to or abstain from drinking, s/p transplant.
    many doctors are granting these transplants to viable candidates, presuming that abstinence will be the goal.

    leslie
  6. by   texas_lvn
    O.k. Here it goes, with all the advice you have already gotten, my personal belief is that everyone gets a second chance. I know, fat people bring about heart conditions, smokers have lung conditions and so on. Sometimes the transplant is what is needed to "save" their life. I am not talking just physically, but emotionally as well. Who are we to deny that one last chance. Something comes to mind about throwing stones in a glass house.
    Now, with that said, as stated above, counseling, and other major conditions need to be in place, and if this alcoholic comes back needing a new liver because he continues to drink, well no. You had your chance. Hope this helps. From the way I read your post it was asking personal opinions. Thanks. Texas
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    If i see, for example, an adult that has had liver issues since the day they were born on the transplant list passed up by someone who drank their liver to the sewer, the non-nurse me would resent that. However, the alcoholic receiving the transplant would get treated just as well as anyone else receiving the transplant.

    (Mickey Mantle and Larry Hagman come to mind. I'm sure money never talked there. )
  8. by   traumaRUs
    I work in dialysis and have several patients on the transplant (kidney, liver, pancreas). There are very strict criteria as another poster alluded to. Our liver program is at Northwestern in Chicago and they require compliance with meds and treatment as well as documented sobriety for one year.

    This is very necessary to ensure that these scarce organs go to those who will have the best chance to be successful.
  9. by   VickyRN
    How did Larry Hagman get his liver? A bit off topic I know, but he was an alcoholic...

    http://www.famoustexans.com/larryhagman.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Hagman
    http://www.ultimatedallas.com/news/larryhealth.htm
  10. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from VickyRN
    Cash rules everything around us.....and Larry Hagman has the cash and influence to get what he needs. Everyone knows that celebrities are usually bumped up the transplant waiting list because society tends to place more value on their lives.

    By the way, my mom received a liver transplantation over 4 years ago and I am so thankful she got a second chance at life. My mom was never an alcoholic, though.
  11. by   jesa
    [quote=sunnyjohn]An alcoholic would never pass the screening to get on the UNOS list.

    that's not true, as a recovering alcoholic I know an alcoholic who is waiting for a transplant.

    that being said, I'm sure you can guess where I stand obviously as a recovering alcoholic I think it's ok for someone in RECOVERY (however that person chooses to do that) and is abstaining from drinking.
  12. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from VickyRN
    The same way John Phillips did... money talks... and someone who would have taken great good care of themselves was denied that liver just so JP could destroy another one...:angryfire
    Last edit by mercyteapot on Sep 15, '06
  13. by   Meerkat
    If, by contemporary theory, alcoholism is indeed an illness, than the alcoholism illness should be treated first. Pretty much what everyone else is saying
  14. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    An alcoholic would never pass the screening to get on the UNOS list.
    Mickey Mantle, who not only was an alcoholic but also had cancer.

    David Crosby, who abused alcohol and every drug known to human kind.

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