Dr. Thomas Butler, MD MS FACS
For #NationalMinorityDonorAwarenessMonth we are asking health professionals within the transplant community about the importance of organ donation in minority communities. We sat down with Dr. Thomas Butler, MD MS FACS at Crozer Health, who gave us great insight into the importance of organ donors in his profession:
• What role do you play when it comes to caring for patients who are in need of an organ and tissue donation?
I am a transplant surgeon. I take part in the procurement of the organ from the recipient as well as implantation in to a donor for the lifesaving transplantation
• Why do you think it’s important for Pennsylvanians to register to be organ donors?
There are over 130,000 people in the US on the transplant list and PA has 7,000 alone. The list is growing and 14 people die every day awaiting transplant.
• Why is it even more important in diverse communities?
Blacks are overrepresented on the list and underrepresented as donors. This fact is compounded by the fact that the best match for a black person in need of a organ from a immunology standpoint is a black person.
• Feel free to provide any additional perspective or insight you would like to share that will aid in educating multicultural communities about the need for and importance of organ donation.
As an African American, I acknowledge the fact that in the past the medical community has done things that are not upstanding like the Tuskegee experiment and Henrietta Lacks. Medicine has changed and looks like me. When on the fence about donation just imagine your relative or friend on the other side needing their life saved, statistically, this could be true one day.
Thank you, Dr. Butler, for your dedication to the transplant community and advocacy for minority donors.
Register today to be an organ donor and your story goes on and on.