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Saturday 23rd June 2018

Liver transplant refusal, man dies

21st July 2009

A 22-year-old man from east London has died after being denied a life-saving liver transplant.

Gary Reinbach, from Dagenham, was given only a few weeks to live after developing cirrhosis of the liver. He had been binge-drinking since the age of 13.

He was admitted to University College Hospital London (UCL) with alcohol damage for the first time 10 weeks ago.

But health chiefs ruled he should not be exempt from strict organ donation criteria which require an alcohol-free period of at least six months.

A statement from NHS Blood and Transplant said: "This case highlights the dilemma doctors face because of the shortage of donated organs.

"They have to make tough decisions about who is going to get the benefit and who is going to take best care of this precious gift."

Campaign group Alcohol Concern called for more research into the way alcohol can affect young people's health.

A UCL spokeswoman said they extended their sympathies to the family at this "difficult time".


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