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Dying to Breathe

Classroom Activity

To consider some of the criteria involved in selecting organ recipients.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "You Be the Judge" student handout (HTML)

To prompt students to think about some of the criteria involved in selecting organ recipients, photocopy and distribute the "You Be the Judge" student handout. Divide the class into four "Transplant Review Boards." After each group has chosen its lung recipient, discuss the following issues:

  • What kind of criteria did each group consider in selecting lung recipients?

  • How did they decide which criteria were most important?

  • How do students feel about an age limit for transplant candidates?

  • How might they differentiate between patients who have knowingly abused their bodies, such as cigarette smokers or alcoholics, and individuals who have not engaged in risky behavior?

  • How should the ability to pay—through insurance, Medicaid, or personal funds—affect which patients are selected?

Activity Answer

Student answers should reflect some sort of criteria for selecting a recipient. This criteria might include the overall health of the patient, the patient's age, the method of payment, or the likelihood that the patient would have a productive life after surgery. It should be stressed that there is no right answer and everyone's opinion must be respected.

Teacher's Guide
Dying to Breathe

Video is not required for this activity