The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "live organ donors" ...
It’s a billion dollar business that begins with an act of generosity: When someone or their family agrees to donate a person’s body, for free, after death. When they click the “donor” box on their driver’s license application, most organ donors don’t realize that they have also agreed to donate their tissue. They’ve made a legally binding promise that a private company can take skin, bones, tendons, ligaments and anything that’s not a living organ—and turn it into for-profit medical products. In a four part radio series that aired in July 2012, NPR Correspondent Joseph Shapiro highlighted this little known industry and the shortcomings in regulation that raise concerns among donors, medical professionals, and government officials at many levels. The series was part of a collaboration between NPR’s Investigative Unit and the International Consortium for of Investigative Journalists, a project of the Center for Public Integrity.
Despite the increasing number of organ transplants each year in the United States, there is little regulation by the government. In addition, no national registry exists to track donors after their procedures. This investigation focuses on how this lack of regulation and tracking not only affects who can donate, but also the lives of those who try to help others. This series also chronicles the complications surrounding live organ donations, including permanent physical damage and even death.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports "how organs are allocated to transplant recipients. It found that where people lived affected the likelihood of receiving an organ and the waiting time for an operation..... One (Medical College of Virginia) lung transplant patient waits; the other patient cuts short her wait by going elsewhere, crossing a little-known boundary that keeps donated organs in Fairfax, (Va.) Now, patients and federal officials are asking if such arbitrary borders leave too many to die..."
The series revealed that hundreds of patients were waiting for lifesaving organ transplants that may never come because their hospitals were turning away large numbers of healthy donor organs for nonmedical reasons, such as a surgeon being unavailable. Many of them died. The story also examined inequities in patient waiting times across the country, telling the stories of patients who had just months to live, but who were at hospitals where the median waiting time was measured in years. Using computer-assisted reporting, the authors analyzed 55,900 transplants and found that the patients who received transplants at centers that do few operations were significantly more likely to die within the first year than patients who received transplants at high-volume centers. The story also found that about half the transplant centers in the country were doing too few transplants to be proficient at the delicate surgery. The series includes the publication of a list of waiting times and mortality rates for more than 600 transplant programs. Center-identified waiting time information is critical to the more than 55,000 patients awaiting a lifesaving transplant, yet it had been impossible for patients to obtain because the private, nonprofit group (UNOS) that keeps the figures wouldn't release them. Using the Freedom of Information Act, the Plain Dealer obtained and published these waiting time and organ-refusal figures that had never before been made public.