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Beth Israel Deaconess Plans to Begin Liver Transplants

CITY · April 15, 2000· by TNN Medical Reporter Virginia Baskerville

BOSTON-Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has been awarded interim approval by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to conduct liver transplantation surgery, the medical center reported on April 10.

The board of directors of UNOS is slated to vote at its May meeting on whether to grant full approval. With the interim approval, however, BIDMC has begun enrolling patients on the New England Organ Bank waiting list for donor livers. BIDMC began its liver center four months ago when Maureen Martin, MD, was recruited to be the chief of the division of liver surgery and transplantation.

BIDMC said in a press release that its liver transplantation program team consists of nationally recognized surgeons who have expertise in adult living donor liver transplants, split and reduced-size liver transplants, and cadaver transplants. In addition, BIDMC said, "the surgeons collaborate with their Liver Center colleagues and members of BIDMC's Cancer Center to provide an aggressive multimodality approach to nontransplant options with a particular interest in primary and metastatic liver tumors, radiologic and surgical portal shunting procedures, and complex hepatic and biliary reconstructions."

Dr. Martin comes to BIDMC from Iowa Methodist Medical Center. In a front-page article on December 29, 1999, the New York Times focused on Dr. Martin to exemplify what has been happening in what it called "the liver wars" that have ensued since the Department of Health and Human Services began it effort in 1997 to change organ distribution policy in the United States.

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