She Died With Long Covid. Should Her Organs Have Been Donated?

She died as a result of Long Covid. Covid-19 Heidi Ferrer’s body and spirit were damaged for almost a year, and in May, the “Dawson’s Creek” scriptwriter committed suicide in Los Angeles.

She’d given up hope. “I’m really sorry,” she apologised in a video message to her husband and son. “I would never do this if I were in good health.” Please bear with me. Please accept my apology.”

Her husband, writer and filmmaker Nick Guthe, intended to give her corpse to research. The hospital, however, stated that it was not his decision because Ms. Ferrer, 50, had signed up to be an organ donor. As a result, surgeons removed many organs from her body before removing her off the ventilator.

Mr. Guthe was concerned that, after his wife’s extended illness, her organs might be unsafe to donate to other patients. “I expected them to kill the people to whom they provided these organs,” he stated in an interview.
The instance has sparked an urgent discussion among medical specialists over whether organs from those who survived Covid, as well as those who died from the sickness, are truly safe and healthy enough to be transplanted.
Before their organs are removed, potential donors are regularly checked for coronavirus infections. Even if the donor has recovered from Covid, the organs are generally deemed safe for transplantation if the test is negative.

Complicating matters is the fact that most persons with chronic Covid, whose terrible symptoms might last months, do not test positive for the infection. Some experts believe the virus is still present, hiding in so-called reservoirs throughout the body, including some of the organs donated to transplant recipients.

The concern is that surgeons will “give the patient Covid together with the organ,” according to Dr. Zijian Chen, medical director of the Mount Sinai Health System’s Center for Post-Covid Care. “It’s a difficult ethical dilemma.” Should we proceed if the patient accepts the risk?”

Disease transmission is always a concern when organs are transplanted, but the United States has a high demand for lifesaving organs and a limited supply. More than 100,000 individuals are on waiting lists, and 17 people die each day as a result of their inaction.

In recent years, criteria governing the acceptance of organs from dead donors who may have illnesses such as H.I.V. or hepatitis C have been reduced.

Organ recovery techniques differ greatly from one institution and region to the next, and are determined by the availability of donor organs in the area. Procurement facilities are under pressure to keep their numbers up, and transplant clinics must execute a set number of surgeries each year in order to maintain certification.


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