When Lou Reed died earlier this week of liver failure, tributes started pouring in about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer and one-time member of the Velvet Underground's contributions and influence on other musicians. But when I heard the news, my first reaction was, wait a minute, Lou Reed just had a liver transplant six months ago -– and this is a topic I’ve talked about several times on this show, because we don’t have nearly enough people who are organ donors in this country, so there aren’t enough organs available to transplant into people who need them. So, since Lou Reed was 71 years old and had gone through a lot of alcohol and a lot of drugs in his life – why was he given a liver? What are the ethics involved in making that decision?
Here to talk about that on my America Weekend show is frequent contributor Dr. Art Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!