Should Alcoholics Get a Liver Transplant?

Whether or not alcoholic should receive a liver transplant is a tremendous debates currently in the public. Those that are against allowing alcoholics to get transplanted feel that the alcoholic patient brought the disease on upon him or herself. Why should a precious liver transplant go to somebody that was the cause of their demise? Considering donated organs are very hard to come by, this is a good question.

On the other hand, it should be pointed out that individuals that go for a liver transplant that have alcoholic liver disease have some of the highest outcomes and survival. In this case, it is ethically difficult to deny patients that are alcoholics a liver transplant if the outcome is better or superior to other forms of liver disease. Alcoholics that go for a liver transplant have to have an intact support structure, lack of psychiatric issues, and commit themselves to lifelong relapse prevention and sobriety.

This week on Your Health First, Dr. Galati has Dr. Monsour on the program, also a liver specialist here in the Texas Medical Center. In this interview, they both discuss the role of alcohol in the cause of liver disease, and strategies to avoid serious damage.

Joe Galati, M.D.
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Author: Joe Galati, M.D.
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