Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Organ Donor's Costs Are Taken Care Of

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Organ Donor's Costs Are Taken Care Of

Article excerpt

Dear Abby: I am enclosing a copy of an article that appeared in the Baltimore Sun. It states that a Florida woman had donated her son's organs, but instead of being thanked for her humanitarian efforts, she received a bill from the hospital for $41,000 . . . "the cost of keeping her son alive so the organs could be removed."

The article went on to say that there have been vague promises that a donor bank may eventually pay much of the $41,000, but (the mother) had received no guarantees, and she's now struggling because a lien has been placed on her son's estate.

The article reported that the $10,000 in insurance money that could pay for the funeral could not be used because the hospital had a lien on it, which is standard operating procedure for the hospital.

Abby, this is appalling. And it brought to mind that we and thousands of your other devoted readers listened to your advice and joined The Living Bank. We feel that you should investigate this terrible injustice and determine what really happened. Your readers would like to know the facts - either pro or con - about organ donor programs. Especially the one you championed. CARL E. AND MARIE K. HUEBNER BALTIMORE

Yours was one of many letters I received voicing concern, so although the article did not concern The Living Bank (which I do promote), I called its director, Bruce Conway, to ask for more information. He replied:

*****

Dear Abby: Thank you for providing us the opportunity to correct for your readers, and the general public, the misunderstanding concerning the Florida mother who was supposedly charged for donating her son's organs. I have been in contact with Les Olson, the director of the University of Miami Procurement Center who procured the organs, and he advised me that the perceived problem presented in a national news story has been resolved. …

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