Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Bringing awareness to organ donation

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Jul 13, 2017 8:00 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, July 14, 2017:

More than fifteen-hundred Pennsylvanians received lifesaving organs from registered donors last year.  One donor can save eight lives, anyone of any age can donate organs and there is no cost to donors for organ or tissue donation.  Nonetheless, 395 Pennsylvanians died in 2016 while waiting for an organ transplant.

In recent years, there have been many efforts to broaden the donor pool - from registering as a donor with driver's license renewal to proposing tax incentives for registering as a donor.  A bill proposed in the state General Assembly last year would streamline the process of harvesting organs. The proposal was opposed by the state's 67 coroners who felt that rushing the harvesting prevented them from properly performing autopsies and compromising criminal prosecutions.  That bill was tabled indefinately.

Advocates of organ donation, with the support of state lawmakers, rely primarily on education to get Pennsylvanians to register as organ donors.  On Friday's Smart Talk, We'll speak with Richard Hasz, Vice President of Clinical Services with the Gift of Life Donor Program about the need for organ donation and efforts to connect donors with recipients.  Republican State Representative John Galloway of Bucks County proposed a provision that would offer a tax credit to donors.  He will join us on Smart Talk to discuss the merits of the proposal and we'll explore the ethics of organ donation with Dr. Michael Freeman, director of pediatric dialysis services and a clinical ethics consultant at Penn State Children's Hospital.

We will also be joined by Central Pennsylvanians who will share their experiences as donors and recipients of much needed organs and how these donation programs changed their lives.  Joe Gargiulo is a retired school administrator who recieved a life saving kidney and pancreas transplant.  Whitney Baker donated one of her kidneys to a lifelong friend suffering from renal failure.  They will share their experiences with organ donation.


Joe Gargiulo - Organ Recipient / Richard Hasz - Vice President of Clinical Services, Gift of Life Donor Program / Dr. Michael Freeman - Director of Pediatric Dialysis Services and a clinical ethics consultant, Penn State Children's Hospital


- With all of the deaths caused by the opioid epidemic can these victims bodies be used for organ donation? I am an organ donor.  - Lynn

- Please have your panel discuss GMO animals for the purpose of human organ transplant     - John, Harrisburg

- I am tuning in late but I am hoping that your guests can discuss the racial disparities in transplant rates.    - Vinny, York

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