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Organ donation As an attorney who represents organ procurement agencies and hospitals, I was disturbed by your recent article on the proposed changes to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, “New organ removal rules raise concerns” [ NLJ, July 10]. Remarkably, the article does not even mention the current organ donation shortage, which results in thousands of people dying needlessly each year. It merely notes that the revised act’s liberalization of the classes of relations to the decedent that may consent to donation may result in increased litigation, suggesting that hospitals would be well-advised to ignore it. This is mistaken, life-threatening advice. First, the amount of successful and material litigation related to organ procurement for transplant is immaterial, especially given the huge numbers of such cases. (The specific cases mentioned in the article dealt with donations for research or other such purposes, and appear to have had a for-profit aspect.) Of course, in our litigious society, the less done, the less likely is liability. However, failure to accept appropriate consents in violation of the law may result in a loss of life. The damages in a cause of action against the entity that so failed would be much greater than in an improper consent to donation context. The article simply overweights the risk of relying on the act’s revised list of those who may consent, and entirely ignores the potential liability for failing to obtain available organs. Even more troubling is the failure to see the issue in its proper context-a matter of life and death-or to suggest the moral issues so plainly presented. The failure to obtain organs when possible is an unconscionable act, and fear of litigation offers no excuse. Edward S. Kornreich New York Immigration judges In “Wide disparities are found in granting asylum” [ NLJ, Aug. 14], Pamela A. MacLean makes several generalizations about the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR); the findings of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) report and the disparity of grant rates among our immigration judges; and the reassignment of the former chief immigration judge. These statements merit clarification to set the record straight. I appreciate the opportunity to do so here. The article mischaracterizes the U.S. attorney general’s review as an effort to “clean up a crumbling system.” As the attorney general stated on Aug. 9 at our 2006 Immigration Judges’ Conference, “the review has left me reassured of the talent and professionalism that exists in the immigration courts and at the Board of Immigration Appeals. I am secure in the knowledge that our immigration judges and board members stand ready to serve their country in discharging their demanding responsibilities to apply the rule of law and protect the Constitution.” He also mentioned the need for improvement, and we are committed to the reforms he has highlighted. As part of his review, the attorney general has recommended a closer analysis of the TRAC report and the disparities among immigration judges and grant rates. Accordingly, we plan to examine those findings more closely and provide recommendations to the deputy attorney general. We will further examine these findings within the context of the docket and the setting where the cases are heard-critical factors when comparing asylum rates among the judges. Detained respondents often have criminal convictions rendering them ineligible for any relief from removal. In addition, some may lack the equities necessary for a favorable exercise of discretion. These elements all factor in to help one understand these variations better and to make the system more transparent to all. Finally, we want to note that the former chief immigration judge’s reassignment within EOIR was not related to the attorney general’s review. Reassignments of senior executives are not uncommon within the federal government, the Senior Executive Service and within EOIR. The former chief judge was reassigned from one adjudicating component to another due to management needs. There was absolutely no allegation of misconduct or wrongdoing that prompted this change. Kevin D. Rooney Falls Church, Va. The writer is director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review. ‘Garcetti v. Ceballos’ Re: “Whistleblowers are fine” by John B. Gamble Jr. [ NLJ, Aug. 2]: One must read Mr. Gamble’s Garcetti v. Ceballos analysis upside down to follow the retaliation remedy that he has stood on its head. What he conveniently omitted was a complete reciting of the facts and Richard Ceballos’ demotion. If he were a whole citizen and not one whom the U.S. Supreme Court deemed a partial citizen by dint of his employment with a government entity and not the private sector, he would be entitled to protection under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The decision leaves the very citizen who represents our government as a second-class citizen. The real result is that employees who may wisely report errors or mistakes to their superiors may be punished. In the climate of chilling effect, I welcome judicial intrusion to ensure basic honesty by government officials. Arline Jolles Lotman Philadelphia

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