Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 5

An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation
of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation
of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.
A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted
medical standards.
The chairwoman of Donate Life commented for that report
that inaccurate portrayals in medical dramas on TV are a significant
source of misinformation. Not long ago, I saw an episode of a
popular medical drama in which the same doctors deciding whether
to declare a patient brain dead were caring for another patient
in need of a transplant... and went on to perform the transplant
surgery! In reality, the medical team caring for any potential donor
is always completely separate from the team whose responsibility it
is to obtain any donated organs and contact the United Network for
Organ Sharing (the organization that administers the only Organ
Procurement and Transplantation Network in the U.S.).
Returning to the 2014 survey which aimed to discover why many
people had not executed Advanced Directives, the second most
common answer was "my family knows my wishes." Prospective
organ donors do not need to inform family members of their
decision because - once properly documented - no one can override
that decision except the prospective donor. However, notifying
close family members is an opportunity to allow them to anticipate
this potential eventuality, answer any questions they may have, and
possibly encourage additional donors.

Additional donors are needed throughout the world to meet
the need. Outside the U.S., laws designed to increase the number
of registered donors have had some success. In Spain, an 'opt-out'
system has been created. Under Spanish law, everyone is presumed
to consent unless otherwise documented. The organ donation system
in the U.S. is an 'opt-in' system, so that unless a person takes action
to become a registered donor, it is presumed they do not consent. In
Israel, the number of living donor transplants rose dramatically after
passage of the 2008 Organ Transplant Act. Key provisions of the act
included reimbursement of living donors fully for time lost from
work, five years of health and life insurance for such donors, and
the creation of a system for allocating available organs which gives
higher priority to people who previously registered as donors, as well
as to their family members. Sustained, well-organized efforts to raise
awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation, and investment
in specialized training for transplant coordinators and all hospital
staff, can also contribute to increased donation rates.
The Berks County Medical Society applauds the Reading Health
System for participating in the 2017 Pennsylvania Donate Life
Hospital Challenge, and is happy to highlight the importance of
becoming an organ donor in this Medical Record.

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SUMMER 2017

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 5
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 6
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