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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 9, 1996)
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From The Indianapolis Star.
Mickey Mantle’s death shortly after re
ceiving a donor liver raised questions about
the propriety and fairness of somotransplant
Mantle suffered from cirrhosis for sev
eral years and had been advised numerous
times by his doctors to quit drinking.
i nere was a perception, warranted or
not, that Mantle’s name and money got him
the organ. Given his history, his age and gen
eral health, the transplant was considered by
some to be imprudent, even wasteful.
At the bottom of such thinking is the fact
that there aren’t nearly enough livers avail
able for people who desperately need them.
About 7,200 people are on waiting lists, and
each day eight to 10 of them die for lack of a
That situation won’t change under the
new policy approved by the United Network
for Organ Sharing, which sets nationwide
policies for all organ transplants. What will
change is the category of patient that will
receive liver donations.
People suffering from chronic liver fail
ure due to alcoholism or hepatitis will be
purged from the top of waiting lists. Hepati
tis is common among intravenous drug us
Persons with acute liver illness — those
who became ill suddenly and are expected
to die within two weeks—will be given pri
ority status. In some cases, the sickest pa
tient will be considered even if he or she is
not in critical condition.
Supporters say the change was prompted
by the continuing shortage of donors, not by
allegations that money and prestige played a
part in such highly publicized transplants as
those of Mantle, actor Larry Hagman and
former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey.
They aren’t trying to punish alcoholics
or drug users, supporters contend, but favor
groups that can benefit most from a trans
plant andean be counted on to observe good
postoperative health care.
The selectivity, however, bothers some
physicians. One noted that those being
purged are often the most critically ill.
Weeding them out, he said, is tantamount
to refusing to treat smokers for lung cancer
or obese people for heart ailments.
That would be the case if there were no
shortage of donors, but there is. By contrast,
there is no shortage of treatment facilities for
1 cancer and heart patients.
Deciding who will live or die is a dread
ful responsibility, one that becomes more
burdensome as medicine advances. The
change in liver transplant policy is bad news
for some groups but it is a reasonable re
sponse to the anguishing imbalance between
supply and demand.
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the
Fall 19% Daily Nebraskan. They do not nec
essarily reflect the views of the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln, its employees, its stu
dent body or the University of Nebrasl a
Board of Regents. A column is soley the
opinion of its author. The Board of Regents
serves as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan;
policy is set by the Daily Nebraskan Edito
rial Board. The UNL Publications Board, es
tablished by the regents, supervises the pro
duction of the newspaper. According to
policy set by the regents, responsibility for
the editorial content of the newspaper lies
solely in tt**» ’ r - • employees.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief let
ters to the editor and guest columns, but
does not guarantee their publication. The
Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit
or reject any material submitted. Submit
ted material becomes the property of the
Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned.
Anonymous submissions will not be
published. Those who submit letters
must identify themselves by name, year
in school, major and/or group affilia
tion, if any. Submit material to: Daily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St
Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448. E-mail:
letter 1 info.unl.edu.
Elimination of the dial-in modem
pool (DN Dec. 5) is a giant step
backward for the university, taken at
a time whep all resources should be
focused on making Ul9L, and
Nebraska, for that matter, a stopping
place on the burgeoning information
Contrary to the current plan, the
modem pool should be renewed and
updated and (as has been done at
other school^) students should be
offered lifetime access to the Internet
through the university system. Any
other plan is shortsighted and
mistaken. ■; • , *
The 21st century is not a science
fiction possibility but a real and
present opportunity which the
university rejects to its detriment.
Where, today, are all the little towns
the railroad passed up in 1896?
I would like to express my
heartfelt thanks to Anthony Nguyen
for writing such intelligent and well
written columns for the Daily
Nebraskan. I have saved and shared
many of these columns with friends
here in Lincoln and throughout the
His latest column on Dec. 2
concerning the United Nations and
the United States especially deserves
to be re-read over and over again.
Thanks once again for writing
such well thought-out and intelligent
columns! There are like a breath of
I wish you all the best in your
Nebraskans for Peace
Something that has always baffled
me is the (unfortunately) common
notion that if someone has a different
opinion, then that person must be
wrong and must therefore be subject
to personal attack and ridicule. This
defies all logic. Are we so insecure in
our own beliefs that we have to
vindictively oppose any others?
I’m referring to Nick Wiltgen’s
column on the role of morality in
government (DN Nov. 26) and the
ensuing replies from the community.
Any debate or problem has many
angles to it, and he was just voicing a
logical, lucid argument of his stance.
If you don’t agree: fine, don’t agree.
If you do agree: fine, agree. But if
you don’t agree and you want to
voice your opinion as a rebuttal, then
at least have the fortitude to take the
time to learn the facts, create a
concise logical argument and politely
counter the points he made. This
------ hi i i ..I [
goes for any debate, not just this one.
For the first reply, we had a
journalism professor lay into Nick,
basically saying that this column was
a front for the legalization of alcohol
for minors, and that Nick should be
ashamed of himself, etc. I have to
question where this teacher got his
degree because he did not display
any of the journalistic skill that
earned his position. Where was his
argument? What points was he trying
to make in relation to the column
written? He simply blew Nick’s
example out of proportion and then
personally attacked him.
The second reply by Brett Otte
was similar in nature, although he
had more validity to his statements.
He did unnecessarily attack Nick, but
did provide thoughtful counter
examples. Brett saw that this
argument has many applications
(abortion, gun control, drinking,
welfare, prostitution, drugs and any
law ever legislated that relates to
public safety) and that, to be honest,
it does have loopholes.
Nick’s column made me think —
and I’m sure a lot of people can at
least agree on that point. He com
posed an argument for how much
morality the government should
legislate and where it should draw
the line. This debate has been going
on for millenia and applies to almost
every aspect of our lives. It is short
sighted to believe that he would
spend his time thinking of ways to
persuade America’s public to legalize
drinking for all ages. This is an
institute of higher learning, and
personal attacks on anyone don’t
engender learning nor do they invite
much respect for the wisdom of the
music performance and philosophy
..Ml - .... .....1
.!.‘ 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 "R" St., Lincoln,
472-1761. or e-mail. <letters nlinfo.nnl.edu.
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