Letters: Organ Donations And Changing Hospitals

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listeners' comments on previous Talk of the Nation topics, including whether or not to compensate for organ donations and changing hospital practices to better serve patients.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Cathy May(ph) in Bigelow, Arkansas heard our conversation about possible compensation for organ donors and wrote: I'm donating a kidney to a friend this coming August. While I don't care to be paid for donating, I would love to be reimbursed from my loss of salary while recovering from the process. It's a great honor to help another person, but it comes at a cost for me.

And while the conversation focused on living donors, Joe Smith in Grand Rapids had another idea: You keep talking about organ donation. Why not make donation mandatory? That would solve all the problems with shortages. At most, there should be an opt-out system of organ donation. He asked: Why do dead people need their organs?

Our discussion with NPR's Julie Rovner about the care and value we get in hospital stays prompted this email from Jane Westin(ph) in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas: I went to the hospital with my mother and a good friend this year. Though we were treated well, I kept wanting to ask staff to wash their hands or wash their stethoscopes. I sat at a corner taking notes on behalf of my mother and friend. A patient friend or advocate is really necessary.

Judy Wolfe(ph) in Colorado was pleasantly surprised when she was admitted to Denver Health Hospital after a bicycling accident: My prior impression of this hospital was that was it was a charity hospital as well as the place where any criminals with health issues are taken, she wrote. Boy, were my impressions wrong. This hospital provided excellent care, surprisingly good food ordered off a menu, a private room after two days with a roommate, and a caring a competent staff.

And Ellie Rhinehold(ph) in Chapel Hill sent us this little tidbit about nursing care: My mother who got her RN degree in Philadelphia in the 1950s told me her instruction included the mandate to give each of her patients a massage at the end of the day. And she added: That's a level of caregiving that's certainly been weeded out.

As always, if you have a correction, comment or a question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please, let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. If you're on Twitter, you could follow us there, @totn.

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