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October 21, 2004

BehindTheMedspeak: Eliminate the middleman - get your donated kidney from the Internet


UNOS should be scared.

Very scared.

What's UNOS?

The United Network for Organ Sharing, which up to now has had monopoly power over all organs donated from the dead.

But they've been a dismal failure at increasing the scarce number of organs available for transplant.

And now, just as Amazon disemboweled the bookstore industry, MatchingDonors.com, a website created earlier this year to match donors and patients for a fee, is set to do the same to UNOS.

A lot of highly-paid, useless administrators there are updating their resumes as you read this. But I digress.

Bob Hickey, a 58-year-old man from Edwards, Colorado, had been on the UNOS list, waiting for a kidney transplant, for five years.

He finally decided he'd had enough of waiting for UNOS to deliver, so he paid $295 a month to be listed on MatchingDonors.com.

He received his new kidney yesterday from 32-year-old Robert Smitty of Chattanooga, Tennessee, whom he'd made contact with through the website as designed.

Why do I have such contempt for UNOS?

Because they've failed in their mission.

In most countries in Europe, your consent to be an organ donor is automatically given - so-called "implied consent" - unless you've specifically opted out on your driver's license.

If UNOS had lobbied the way they should have, there wouldn't be this nonsense about filling out a form to donate your organs.

And families wouldn't be able to revoke your stated consent - as happens quite often, illegally - after you were dead.

You GO MatchingDonors.com!

October 21, 2004 at 01:01 PM | Permalink


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I do NOT think Europe's way of doing things is better; i.e. making you a donor unless you specifically opt out. There is way too many sheenigans that can go on by the well to do needing organs.
Criminals are involved in these organ "donor" groups where healthy people come up dead...
The Soviet Union had my DNA; I saw it with my own eyes on the Internet. Funny thing, after the Senate had a meeting about "CONfidentiality" and "senisitve documents" on the Internet the information disapeared...

Posted by: Susan Redols | Dec 2, 2005 12:18:21 PM

The list of hospitals endangering the lives of people waiting for organ transplants by refusing to accept live on-line donors grows:

Presbyterian/ St. Lukes Hospital, Denver
Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans
Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo
University Hospital, Denver
Stanford University Medical Center

Of course, UNOS, the national organization overseeing deceased organ collection and distribution continues to be obstructionists in finding new and innovation ways to secure additional donors, living or dead.

I have asked the inspector general of Health and Human Service for a full audit of the UNOS contract.


Robert F. Hickey, first kidney transplant patient from a donor found on-line, 10/20/04

Posted by: Robert F. Hickey | Nov 16, 2004 4:01:16 AM

I'm currently awaiting a kidney transplant via UNOS. (HTTP://www.JimNeedsAKidney.com) I've looked at MatchingDonors.com, and found them, to be a little on the pricey side at $300/month. I've been busy getting registered in multiple regions, to increase my chances of getting a transplant. Initially I was told that it would be a minimum of 2yrs wait on the list in Colorado. I've done my 2yrs, and now they're tellin me it will be a minimum of 6yrs! If I get desperate enough, I'll be calling Matchingdonors...

Jim Tetzlaff
Colorado springs, CO.

Posted by: Jim Tetzlaff | Nov 15, 2004 8:33:32 PM

My family and I completely stand behind you Mr. Hickey 100% on your stand to see things change. We are facing exactly the same problem as we speak. My fifteen year old grandson in in dire need of a transplant right now. After several unsuccessful attempts of cadaver kidney's,
Georgia(my daughter-in-law,Josh's mom) chose to speed things along by placing Joshua's info with matchingdonors.com.

That was in October(last month) and over 40 caring and compassionate people have stepped forward to help save my grandson's life. Each one that responded was only concerned with one thing and that was to help this young boy with wanting nothing in return, except to see him healthy again.

I just received a call from my daughter-in-law Georgia Plaisance and she informed she received a call from you moments ago. Her son is Joshua Plaisance the 15 year old in need of a kidney.

I must confess that we are fighting mad about this entire ridiculous ploy of the UNOS playing God at the expense of innocent lives. I personally feel it is all about control and they feel threatened because this new system is working. How sad, that something like pride or control or perhaps both, could cause them to make such cold hearted decisions based on their wounded pride. Someone needed to expose them for what they are all about and I cannot tell you how blessed we are to have you going forth and fighting and voicing your opinion on behalf of those in the same boat we are in.

May the Lord bless you and we are praying for you to remain healthy so you can enjoy life as the Lord intended you to. I also believe that nothing is by chance, it had to be someone with your voice, with your knowledge, with knowing first hand what life is like being on dialysis,
with your stamina and compassion for others. I belive it had to be you and only you to fight for this cause to the finish, until the monopoly of the control freaks are under control with the good of all human equally being the only important thing considered.

So I leave you with another blessing from the thankful family that loves Joshua with all our heart.
With a Grateful Heart,
Joshua's Mimi
Gail Plaisance

Posted by: Gail Plaisance | Nov 15, 2004 3:51:48 PM

Thank God for matchingdonors.com. I have a new lease on life! The transplant surgeon in Denver is not pleased to have me in his lifespace neither is the post-transplant nephrologist, Alan Cooper. Along with UNOS medical establishment physicians like Kam the surgeon and Cooper the nephrologist are causing unnecessary pain and suffering.

Thanks to Rob Smitty and matchingdonors.com I am now able to fight for others who find themselves in a similar position to me on 10/18/04 when the surgeon originally cancelled my transplant. Public pressure made the hospital change that and allowed the transplant to proceed on 10/20/04.

Posted by: Robert Hickey | Nov 5, 2004 7:01:46 PM

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