Sigrid Fry-Revere

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Sigrid Fry-Revere
Sigrid Fry-Revere Portrait.jpg
Nationality American
Alma mater Smith College;
Georgetown University

Sigrid Fry-Revere, is the president and co-founder of the American Living Organ Donor Network (ALODN) (aka American Living Organ Donor Fund), a 501(c)(3) public charity created in 2014. The ALODN works to limit the financial and social burdens living organ donors face by providing them with information, resources, and financial support. The network now also provides an escrow service that helps donors by facilitating managing donation related compensation for recipients. For more information see the ALODN website.[1] In its first year, the ALODN helped more than 50 living organ donors make more than 70 transplants possible and was awarded gold standard rating from GuideStar.

She is the founder and CEO of Stop Organ Trafficking Now! (SOTN!). Established in 2013 with the pro bono help of a D.C. law firm, this 501(c)(4) non-profit, non-partisan agency is dedicated to removing barriers to living organ donation by communicating relevant scholarly research to Congress. SOTN! is lobbying Congress, to support living donors by removing financial disincentives that form often insurmountable barriers to Americans who wish to donate organs.[2] Besides huge savings for Medicare, the proposed legislation could close the staggering kidney supply and demand gap, improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans waiting for a kidney, strengthen the penalties for illegal organ trafficking, and help decrease exploitation in developing countries.

Since 2008 Fry-Revere has served as the medical ethicist on the Washington Regional Transplant Community Organ and Tissue Advisory Committee. The WRTC is the Organ Procurement Organization that determines the distribution of organs retrieved from patients who die in hospitals.[3] Fry-Revere is still an active member of this committee today.

In that same year (2008), Fry-Revere founded the Center for Ethical Solutions, a GuideStar gold star charity. CES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan, think tank created to help educate the public and create tools to empower individuals to make their own decisions on difficult issues in patient-care ethics. The Center has several projects, but Dr. Fry-Revere has focused most of her efforts on the SOS, or Solving the Organ Shortage, Project which has studied the worldwide organ shortage for seven years with the intention of finding innovative ways to improve the supply of much needed organs for transplant in the United States.

Fry-Revere spoke at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for TEDMED 2014.[4] Her talk on solving the organ shortage will be made available via the internet by TEDMED on March 12, 2015 for World Kidney Day and the one-year anniversary of Fry-Revere's book—The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran (Carolina Academic Press, 2014). Her book is about her personal journey of discovery that a market in organs would not be the right solution for solving the organ shortage.[5] She learns this by interviewing kidney sellers in Iran and learning about Iran's 30-year history of experimenting with compensated kidney donation. After trying a free-market approach that was little better than the black market, Iran came up with an approach that uses non-profit charities to match donors and recipients.[6] While Iran is the only country that pays donors more than their expenses, other countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and most recently Ireland, have begun to work towards a more comprehensive system of compensating living organ donors for their expenses. The U.S. has started down that path as well, but according to Fry-Revere's TEDMED talk, the U.S. is still far from helping living donors enough to either be fair to living organ donors or ease the organ shortage. She argues the existing U.S. system discriminates against blue-collar workers and anyone who doesn't have $5,000 or more in monthly discretionary funds, that is anyone who is not according to the U.S. Census Bureau within the top 8% of income earners in the United States.[7]

In November 2014, Fry-Revere co-founded the American Living Organ Donor fund with Mike Mittelman and the help of charitable.org.[8] Their kickstarter-type campaign was successful and the ALODF is already helping living organ donors (kidney, liver, bone marrow, intestine, lung, and pancreas) meet their non-medical out-of-pocket donation related expenses.[9] This unique 501(c)(3) (IRS approval pending, but now functioning as a project of the Center of Ethical Solutions) will use innovative techniques, such as crowd sourcing and an algorithm created by the charity's founders, to maximize the number of potential living donors the organization can help. Additionally, there will be an emphasis placed on making paired and chain donations possible. All funds raised to date are going to help living organ donors make much needed transplants possible. Now the organization needs grant and sponsors to help cover the creative and administrative costs of the organization's development. Once this need is filled, Fry-Revere's dream of a triumvirate of organizations (including the previously mentioned CES and SOTN!) broadly intended to study, affect policy, and provide direct help for solving the organ shortage, will be complete.

Life[edit]

Fry-Revere was born in Washington, D.C. on August 6, 1960. She grew up speaking German and English at home, and traveled with her parents to over 40 countries before she was ten years old. She has lived in several countries other than the United States, including Argentina, Greece, and Switzerland. Switzerland is where she studied law at the University of Geneva, where all her classes were in French. Her most recent research trip took her to Iran where she spent two months at the end of 2008 studying Iran's system of compensated organ donation.

She earned her BA with honors in both government and philosophy at Smith College in 1983 and went on to earn her Masters in Jurisprudence at Georgetown University in 1984. Sigrid completed a joint degree program at Georgetown, receiving her J.D. in 1988 and Ph.D. in philosophy in 1990. While at Georgetown University Law Center, Sigrid was the executive editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics for its inaugural issue and projects editor for The Georgetown Criminal Law Review.

Fry-Revere worked as an attorney, practicing bioethics, health, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration law with the law firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn. She worked as an adjunct professor of ethics and healthcare law at George Mason University College of Nursing and Health Science and as an associate professor at the University of Virginia Center for Biomedical Ethics. She has also consulted for hospitals, hospices, and home health agencies. Fry-Revere has written one book and edited another on bioethics consultation and written more than a hundred articles, which have appeared in newspapers, journals, and publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. She formerly served as Director of Bioethics Studies at the Cato Institute.[10]

Since 2008, Fry-Revere has concentrated her efforts on non-profit work, primarily with the intention of finding a way to ease the U.S. organ shortage which claims the life of almost one American every hour and fuels exploitative organ trafficking by driving desperate Americans to try to get transplants on the black market. Fry-Revere, founded the Center for Ethical Solutions to study the problem, Stop Organ Trafficking Now! to encourage Congress to remove policies that make it hard for Americans to get organs at home, and the American Living Organ Donor Fund to start helping living organ donors save lives now, while the efforts of CES and SOTN! continue to try to influence long-range policy.

Publications[edit]

Books
  • The Accountability of Bioethics Committees and Consultants, University Publishing Group, Inc., 1992;
  • Ethics & Answers in Home Health Care: A Practical Guide for Dealing with Bioethical Issues in Your Organization, Fry-Revere, Sorrell & Silva (Eds.), George Mason University Center for Health Care Ethics 1995;
  • Defining Death: A New Legal Perspective (co-author with Thomas Reher and Matthew Ray) Scholars’ Press, 2014
  • The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran. Published by Carolina Academic Press (2014). The Kidney Sellers provides ground breaking research on how Iran became the first country in the world to solve its kidney shortage.[11]
Articles

Notes[edit]