A man from east London who began binge-drinking at 13 has died after being denied a life-saving liver transplant.
Source: Evening Standard, West End Final, 20.07.2009, page 11
Evening Standard - online report
The BBC in 2003: Should alcoholics get liver transplants?
Reasons why a liver transplant may not be available
There are a number of factors that usually indicate that you would be unlikely to survive following a liver transplant, and would therefore not be a suitable candidate for the procedure. These are five of the factors:
Continued alcohol misuse
If you continue to misuse alcohol after receiving a diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease, it is likely that you will be refused a transplant.
Most transplant centres expect a clear commitment from you to avoid alcohol for the rest of your life. In practical terms, this usually means that you have to abstain from all alcohol for at least three months before you are considered to be suitable for a transplant.
Continued drug misuse
If you have contracted hepatitis B or hepatitis C because you are an intravenous drug user, you will be expected to enter a drug rehabilitation programme and successfully quit your drug habit before you are considered suitable for a transplant.
Advanced liver cancer
If you have advanced liver cancer that has spread beyond your liver to other parts of your body, it is unlikely that you will be offered a liver transplant.
If you have end-stage HIV, it is unlikely that you will be offered a liver transplant because the risk of you dying during or shortly after the operation is too high.
However, a number of people with a well-controlled HIV infection who have responded well to their HIV medication have received successful liver transplants.
As a general rule, liver transplants are not recommended for people who are 70 years of age or over because their general state of health is usually too poor to safely withstand the effects of the operation. However, exceptions can be made if you are physically fit and in a good state of health.
Source: NHS: Liver Transplant