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The ethics of who gets a liver transplant as the waitlist grows

There were more than 10,000 patients on the wait list in the United States for a new liver in January. That’s the second-longest wait list for a new organ, behind those in need of a new kidney.

The federal agency that tracks these numbers also reports there were more than 9,500 liver transplants performed last year.

There’s also ongoing conversation about some of the morals and ethics of liver transplants — specifically when it comes to liver damage caused by alcoholism. 

The Show talked about it, including the process of how recipients are chosen, with Dr. David H. Beyda, chair of the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. 

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.