By Donna Martinez
Many folks will remember Tom Selleck as the Hawaiian shirt-wearing private investigator in “Magnum PI.” Not me. Selleck’s face was burned into my memory after his small role in the 1978 thriller “Coma.” The image of Selleck staring into space from the operating table as his organs are auctioned off tops my list of chilling movie scenes.
When I read an ABC News story about New York City – “Ethicists Debate Ambulance for Organs” – “Coma” popped into my head. I’m not alleging a sinister plot behind NYC’s new organ recovery program, but I do believe officials are implementing an unwise policy that places undue pressure on grieving families of accident victims.
New York City’s plan is called the Rapid Organ Recovery Ambulance (RORA). Program organizers at Bellevue Hospital Center hope to have the ambulance rolling in Lower Manhattan later this year. I support its goal: to increase the number of organs available for transplant. It’s the method I oppose: a death’s-door ambulance that shadows first responders at accident scenes. The New York Times reports project leader Dr. Lewis Goldfrank has been talking with members of the community “to assuage public jitters.”
Understandable, given that RORA adds new meaning to the phrase “ambulance chaser.” Some details are unclear, but here are preliminary plans for how it will work. Read the rest of this entry