Transplants Alcoholics

November 9, 2011 - 5:55 PM
In this July 11, 1995 file photo, Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle speaks to reporters during a news conference following his recovery from a liver transplant at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. More alcoholics can benefit from liver transplants, according to a new study that could boost demand and intensify debate about who should get scarce organs. Heavy drinkers with severe hepatitis usually must stay sober for six months to qualify for a new liver. But researchers found that granting transplants to some of them sooner improves their survival chances - and most stay sober years afterward. The findings reopen an old debate over who deserves desperately needed transplant organs. Celebrities with alcohol problems receiving liver transplants have sparked public outrage. In the 1990s, Larry Hagman, David Crosby and the late Mickey Mantle got transplants. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)