Donor Dilemma

A Tribune-Review investigation of the nation's independent organ procurement organizations, or OPOs, reveals a lucrative trade with little financial oversight. The newspaper found 51 of the nonprofits collected revenue of $1.2 billion and recovered more than 80,000 body parts. Many organ procurement organizations post revenue surpluses each year and top executives average $320,000 in total compensation with some making more than $800,000, according to 2011 federal filings and tax documents. The Trib also examined a new practice among recovery organizations to retrieve organs at their own surgical facilities rather than in traditional hospitals so they can keep control of costs and money.

$2B a year in sales depends on benevolence of tissue donor families, companies admit

Companies worldwide cash in on a $2 billion-a-year trade in human skin, bones and other tissues obtained for free from deceased donors and later sold, ...

Taxpayers help pay for organ donor groups' parties, Rose Parade expenses

Executives at one nonprofit organ procurement organization charter a plane to travel fewer than 150 miles for a training session on leadership. Another nonprofit pays out ...

Organ donors' families say state fund should help needy with funeral and medical bills

When Jeannie Leuthauser-Swartz died a year ago, her family donated her liver, kidney and other body parts and tissue through the nonprofit Center for Organ ...

Drivers' $1 donation yields little for Pennsylvania organ donors and their families

Every time Pennsylvanians register a car or renew a driver's license, they have the option of giving $1 to the Gov. Robert P. Casey Memorial ...

Gift of life worth millions to donation organizations

When a donor dies, health workers rush to salvage what they can: a liver, a heart, skin tissue. Each item has an important purpose — and ...

Son's donation gives his grieving family perspective

As Dr. Dennis Cruff stood in a Virginia operating room, watching a fellow surgeon transplant bone into a patient, he thought of his son. "That ...

Organ donation organizations shift recovery efforts in-house

Ventilators keep their hearts beating and blood flowing. The patients are brain dead, even though it might seem like they're sleeping. Often in the darkness of ...

Donor's mom is a volunteer not concerned about salaries, finances of organ procurers

Malinda Sherid can recite the states where her daughter's organs went when she died at 16 as a result of a car crash. "Her liver ...