Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Heart Recipient Golfer Back Getting Birdies

Erik Compton, PGA golfer, is able to continue golfing thanks to an organ donor. Compton received his second heart transplant two years ago after receiving his first at the age of 12 because his heart was enlarged. He needed another after a massive 2007 heart attack that nearly killed him. His donor, Isaac Klosterman, passed away at the age of 26 in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident.

The article, Erik Compton's Gifts : Talent, And A Donor's Heart, containing the story appeared on and also delves into a somewhat controversial issue - presumed consent. In the U.S., a person or their family MUST give permission for their organs to be transplanted. However, in other countries, there is "presumed consent" which means that you are automatically an organ donor unless you "opt out." Some people believe presumed consent would result in fewer people dying waiting on an organ because it would increase the size of the donor pool. That may be true. However, as a member of the transplant community, I'm not sure I like the idea of Uncle Sam getting involved and telling everyone they are automatically a donor. That would defeat the whole idea of the donation being a gift. Plus, forcing someone to be a donor takes away a piece of their freedom, and that doesn't work for me either.

P.S. Just want to say a big Thank You to my friend Heather for passing this story along.
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