NYT Letter to the Editor - "My Transplanted Heart and I Will Die Soon"

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Below is a Letter to the Editor in response to the recent New York Times Opinion Guest Essay "My Transplanted Heart and I Will Die Soon" by Amy Silverstein. 

To the Editor: 

We read with great empathy “My Transplanted Heart and I Will Die Soon.”  We are awed by the benevolence of organ donors and fortitude of transplant recipients but acknowledge the promise of organ transplantation remains unfulfilled.     

The last novel transplant immunosuppressant was approved in 2011. The lack of acceptance of new clinically relevant endpoints for trials in transplantation limits innovation.  We urge the FDA to accept new endpoints that will permit development of new treatments that will allow transplant recipients to live long vibrant, productive, normal lives.   

Accelerated FDA approval of new therapeutics revolutionized cancer care and should be adopted in transplant. Research to develop safer medicines and strategies that eliminate the need for life-long anti-rejection medicines are desperately needed. We implore Congress to fund organ transplant research commensurate with the societal burden of end organ failure.  

As Ms. Silverstein states, “gratitude is not permission for status quo.” We must act to improve the lives of current and future transplant recipients and to ensure the precious life-saving gifts of donated organs are utilized to their maximum benefit.     


The American Society of Transplantation Board of Directors