December 18, 1995
Media Contact: John Cramer
Phone: (410) 955-1534

Johns Hopkins' eighth annual Christmas party for liver transplant recipients and patients awaiting a liver transplant will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight, Dec. 18, in the concourse of Hopkins' Turner Auditorium. About 200 guests are expected. The media are invited.

"Organ donation is the true gift of life, and the holiday season is a good time to reach the public about the critical shortage of organs for transplant," says Andrew Klein, M.D., Hopkins' transplantation director and the liver transplant subcommittee chairman of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), the nation's organ transplant distribution network. "Organ donations from one person can touch the lives of many people."

Organ transplantation involving well known personalities, such as Mickey Mantle, has moved the controversial topic from the hospital conference room to the American living room, according to Klein and James Burdick, M.D., UNOS' president-elect and Hopkins' director of kidney transplantation.

"Some celebrity cases have forced this country to re-evaluate who should, as opposed to who does, receive a transplant," says Klein. "One valid issue is how the medical community should deal with alcoholic liver disease patients who 'by their own actions' have aided a disease that not only consumes a precious resource but imposes a big financial burden on the American public."

-- JHMI --
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