To the Editor:
The International Liver Transplantation Society (Fredericksburg, Virginia) was disappointed to learn about “Bacchus Listed for a Liver Transplant,” published in the journal’s Mind to Mind section.1
The piece misrepresents and stigmatizes patients with end-stage liver disease regardless of etiology. It shames our patients at the most vulnerable time when they seek help from healthcare professionals and transplantation is their only choice for survival. Healthcare professionals should not judge patients, regardless of whether they have a history of alcohol abuse, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis due to obesity, opioid dependence, or any other condition.
It discredits healthcare professionals caring for patients with end-stage liver disease by implying that no appropriate medical and psycho-social evaluation is performed in order to receive a liver transplant, when in fact the opposite is true.
Last, it belittles the altruism of organ donors, whether deceased (brain-dead), donors after cardiac death, or living donors. These donors give the ultimate gift to society. We mustmaintain public trust in the process of donation that helps all patients with end-stage organ disease. The false perception that an organ might be wasted undermines this public trust.
This is an opportunity to educate your readership (most of them are likely unfamiliar with the transplant process). It is sincerely hoped that the journal will take up the challenge.
The author declares no competing interests.