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Medics slam boozy Jim.

EXPERTS last night lashed boozy Jim Baxter for hitting the bottle again after two life-saving liver transplants.

They fear his behaviour will discourage families of potential donors allowing organs to be used in the future.

Professor Oliver James, of the British Liver Trust, said patients on transplant waiting lists would be right to feel angry at the football legend's behaviour.

"I have every sympathy with people who feel Mr Baxter is wasting his chance," he said.

"People will be unwilling to donate organs from loved ones if they think they are going to end up in a drunkard."

Prof James added: "Because of who Jim Baxter is, he has a responsibility to the many people who have had transplants or are waiting for surgery.

"He also has a responsibility to the NHS. I would estimate it has cost around pounds 150,000 of NHS money for all the procedures he has gone through.

"With that money a hospital could pay for a ward of 20 people for a year."

At the time of Baxter's transplants in 1994 his surgeon James Garden said: "Unless there is proof that the patient has the strength of will to stop drinking, then there shouldn't be an operation."

Prof Garden refused to discuss Baxter yesterday, but said: "We would be desperately disappointed if a patient who had gone through our selection process for transplantation, where alcohol had been thought to be the cause of the patient's liver disease, would go back to taking alcohol at such a level that would put the liver and the patient at risk.

"We are well aware of the responsibility which we carry in ensuring that donor organs are used appropriately. Organs are a very precious commodity."
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Author:Ramsay, Heather
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 20, 1998
Words:287
Previous Article:MY HUSBAND WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP DRINK; George died at 38.
Next Article:MY SISTER DIDN'T GET ANOTHER CHANCE; Booze plea to Baxter in liver op row.


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