Iraq War Saves Germans


Organ donation is so controversial in Germany that half the country's doctors won't cooperate with the organization that links donors and recipients. Doctors who do perform transplants are harassed, and the donation rate is among the lowest in the Western world. But donation rates are far less dismal at the U.S. military base in Landstuhl–and as Americans die on the base from injuries inflicted in Iraq, their organs are ending up in German bodies. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

In 2005, the U.S. military medical center provided more organs than 198 of the 206 hospitals in the DSO's central donor region, according to the agency's annual report…

German transplant officials fret about exposure – especially in regards to the arrangement they keep with Landstuhl.

There is, they acknowledge, an uneasy irony to the program: Germans are virulently against the war in Iraq. Along with France, Germany was a leader in the anti-war movement during United Nations debate in 2002. And recent polls show German opinion has only grown more negative.

"We do not pretend that this does not complicate things," said Dietmar Mauer, a supervisor in the DSO's regional office in Mainz.

Mauer would prefer the Landstuhl agreement were kept a secret, for fear of derailing the program. "We are trying to save lives, but some people would not understand this," he said.

Whole thing here.