A healthy liver in adults weighs about 3 pounds (left). A liver damaged by alcoholism shows a buildup of fatty tissue (middle), and a liver with cirrhosis is enlarged and swollen (right).
© A. Glauberman/Science Source, Photo Researchers, Inc.
As we wrap up our discussion of the challenges to our health care system we will end with the question, "should decisions concerning the allocation of scare health resources take into account the virtue or vice of the recipient?"
In particular, we will ask, "Is giving livers to reformed alcoholics a waste of medical resources?"
Please read the following articles in EIMM:
1) "Should Alcoholics Compete Equally for Liver Transplantation?" pp. 223-228
2) "Alcoholics and Liver Transplantation" pp. 228-232