This discussion was very informative and interesting! Dr. Gardiner presented her research on how a provider’s perception and policies on BMI affect a patient’s eligibility for kidney transplantation. Study one explored provider attitudes for BMI as an indicator for eligibility while study two explored the role of BMI in determining eligibility for kidney transplantation. The results showed discrepancies between the provider’s perception and the policy statement on what an appropriate BMI should be. The policy benchmarks were lower than what the providers thought the BMI cutoff should be. Furthermore, there is a lack in educating those with a higher BMI on how to lose weight to meet the benchmarks and get a transplant.
Kidney disease is a very difficult condition to treat especially in regards to BMI. For one, when a patient is on dialysis, they’re discouraged to lose weight as it may hinder treatment. However, what should they do once they need to get a transplant in the long term but need to stay on dialysis in the long term? This puts the patient in a difficult position and could definitely affect them psychologically if they feel like they do not know what to do.
Something I wish the speaker could further discuss are the existing institutional power structures/beliefs that minorities may face that prevent them from getting transplant/treatments. She did mention that Caucasians might be more likely to receive a transplant from a living donor while minorities may not have someone healthy enough to donate within their social network and thus, that can be a reason why transplantation rates are higher for them. Another interesting part she mentioned was that while being on Medicaid/Medicare, most patients wouldn’t be able to get on a waiting list for transplantation until recently. She also mentioned how in Spain, it is assumed that people will donate their organs after death since they see it as a social good while we value autonomy in the USA. I wish more information could be given on these topics but it also seems like this research is still in its preliminary stages and we still have a lot to learn.