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Unjustified transplant refusals

May 22, 2008

Re "Organ prospects go up in smoke," May 19

Transplant centers need to answer to science about denying organs to medical marijuana patients. Two studies, the latest released just last month at the University of Ottawa, have found that treatment with marijuana or cannabinoids actually helps hepatitis patients, perhaps because it helps them better tolerate their drug treatment regimens. This being so, denial of livers to marijuana patients would seem to constitute malpractice.

Dale H. Gieringer

San Francisco

The writer is the California director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Sadly enough, I am not stunned by the revelation that patients with a history of marijuana use for medicinal purposes are rejected by hospital transplant committees in Washington state. Clearly, this policy is steeped in a very flawed political prejudice against marijuana, a so-called value system without reason or mercy.

I am stunned, however, that the 100,000 patients vying for transplants every year must divvy up the organs from a mere 6,000 donors. One out of every one person dies; why can't we harvest more organs than we do?

Bethia

Sheean-Wallace

Fullerton

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