Sunday, June 14, 2009

Boy not allowed to get life-saving transplant in Japan

Source: CNN

Eleven-year-old Hiroki Ando will likely die if he does not get a new heart.

Hiroki suffers from cardiomyopathy, which inflames and impairs the heart. The same disease killed his sister five years ago.

"We have two children in our family who got a disease that happens one out of every 100,000 people. I am sorry for my children. We are having my daughter and Hiroki going through this harsh experience," said father Ryuki Ando.

"We were told by his doctor at the end of last year that the heart transplant operation was the only way for him to survive," Ando said.

But the law in Japan prohibits anyone under the age of 15 from donating organs -- meaning Hiroki can't get a new heart in his home country.

According to the web site for Japan Transplant Network, a non-governmental group that supports changing Japan's transplant law, "this stipulation has greatly reduced the possibility of transplants to small children; heart transplants to small children have become impossible."


I wonder why 15 is the age-limit? I'm sure in Japan kids under 15 die in accidents or disease. Why not have them be able to transplant their heart to save someone else?

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