- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- Son of Westboro Baptist Church patriarch discusses abuse, faith (11/15/17)6
- Scott City council hires former SEMO public safety director as city administrator (11/15/17)
AMA votes to promote research into payment for organ donation
AP Medical WriterCHICAGO (AP) -- The American Medical Association called for research Tuesday into whether financial payments would boost the nation's critical shortage of transplant organs.
The AMA's policymaking House of Delegates voted at its annual meeting to adopt the measure against the recommendation of a committee, which heard from doctors Sunday who said that such payments would be unethical and that even studying them would cheapen the value of organ donation.
Testimony that appeared to sway the delegates on Tuesday included a plea from Dr. Phil Berry Jr. of Dallas, who said he would be dead if he had not received an organ transplant 16 years ago to replace a liver ravaged by hepatitis B.
His lifesaver, a 32-year-old woman who died of a brain aneurysm, had indicated before her death that she wanted to be an organ donor.
"In a perfect world, altruism would be all that would be needed" to encourage more organ donation, Berry, 65, told the delegates. "The fact is that we're losing the battle."
In the past decade, the number of organs donated nationwide annually has remained fairly steady at around 5,000 to 6,000, while the number of people who need transplants has jumped from about 20,000 to 80,000, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Last year, about 6,000 people died while on the U.S. transplant waiting list, according to UNOS.
Federal law prohibits financial incentives for organ donation, and research on the issue could require congressional waivers.
The AMA will not fund any research under the measure, but its voice is influential in Washington and it is now on record as endorsing such studies.