Would you give a piece of your liver to someone who needs it? It is rumored it’s dangerous to do so.

Well, it’s not that dangerous, they want to assure us. People who donate a piece of their liver to someone in need of a transplant can still live a long and healthy life, according to a new study.

You may not know but live donors can give a piece of their liver. They don’t need to be dead first and, so they say, you won’t end up dead!

I’m being a bit flippant, as usual. But if someone’s life can be saved, by giving a chunk of your liver, I say: go for it!

If the Cosmos, evolution, God, or whatever, wants you out of the way, I suppose you might regret it. You’ll be erased. But cowardice when it comes to helping others should not be an issue.

Mind you, Americans are something else. A few years ago, a woman who was locked out and freezing cold in the snow was left to die by her neighbors; they wouldn’t let her in! Let’s hope that couple were not typical, otherwise a mean world is on the way.

Anyway, I know many good, hearty and courageous souls here. They must be embarrassed by their scaredy-cat fellow citizens.

Back to livers: due to a highly publicized liver donor death in 2002, live liver donation dropped from 500 transplants in the United States each year to just 200 to 300 surgeries.

The present study, hopefully, will do a lot to encourage potential donors to come forward and be counted. There is no arguing, live liver donation is a serious operation with serious risks. The problem is you can’t easily stitch up the liver; it’s very crumbly. So bleeding is a serious problem. Stop taking your omega-3s weeks beforehand, if you wish to become a donor.

What’s the actual risk? Just 1.7 per 1,000 donors, according to the study. I’ve said publicly I wouldn’t risk my life for a 100 to 1 odds, so I had better stick to that.

But better than 500 to 1? Yes, I’m OK with that.

[SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine, news release, Jan. 26, 2012]

PS. A better idea is to get people to look after their livers properly in the first place. I wrote a book on liver health. You can get a copy here:

Order the liver health eBook “Love Your Liver”