Want to see where a mainstream journalist can pick up where weblogs leave off? Take a look at this item from Boing Boing. A guy posts a plea about needing a kidney transplant on the Web, he manages to find a compatible donor (not via the Web). Some kind of group that has something to do with hooking up organ donors with people needing those organs blocks the surgery because he wrote about his case on the Web. Why do they have the authority to do that? Are they the ones who would pay for the surgery? What’s their rationale? I’d like to see 2000 words or so really digging into this from someone.

Update: Jason Levine sends along a link to a post by Alwin Hawkins explaining the rationale behind this policy. I can appreciate why they do it, but what gives them the authority in the first place? If a recipient has willing, compatible donor available, then how do these organizations get involved? Is it a compact among transplant surgeons?

Another update: Another reader emailed and explained that these rules are set by local organizations that coordinate transplants or professional organizations of transplant surgeons, and that not adhering to these common standards is likely to get you kicked out of the nationwide network that of organizations that help match up donors with patients who need donated organs. Here’s an example of a memo that explains one such organization’s position on soliciting donations.