Grim news in The Times the other day. Soon, it seems, two kinds of ambulance will be dispatched in response to certain 911 emergency calls in Manhattan. As usual, a traditional vehicle will go to the scene, its crew trained to administer first-aid and save lives. But should that effort fail, a shadow ambulance will be ready to swoop in from a nearby hiding place to "harvest" the victim's kidneys and rush them on ice to a hospital for use in transplant operations.
City officials tell the newspaper that they've spent much time addressing various ethical and legal issues. No harvesting at crime scenes, for instance, and they're limiting the 'bright red and white ambulance marked “Organ Preservation Unit”' to working solely on victims of heart attack. But a doctor at Bellevue Hospital says he's eager to see car crashes and homicides covered, too.
In the NYC metro area last year, 7,600 people were waiting for organ transplants, but the number of freshly-dead donors amount to just 285. Scarcity, indeed.