TO THE EDITOR:

Not since Kanye West’s outburst on a televised benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina have we witnessed such a misguided attempt at eliciting donations as we did last Saturday. During halftime of the Pittsburgh basketball game, Dr. anish Gupta, a transplant surgeon and speaker for the “Get Game – Give Life” program, spoke to the crowd about signing up to be an organ donor. He brought on court with him a group of very young local children whose lives have greatly benefited from organ donations. Dr. Gupta thought it would be funny to yell “Go Pitt!” immediately after imploring the crowd to become organ donors. Common sense will tell you that if you have a microphone, and use it to yell out support for the opposing team, the fans are going to boo. And this they did – the crowd relentlessly booed for the remaining time his organization was on the court. While I respect that not everyone is going to be a Hoya fan – though I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to be – Dr. Gupta found the most inopportune time to express his excitement for the Pittsburgh Panthers. He effectively alienated the capacity arena and did a large disservice to the organization that had chosen him to speak on its behalf. I was horrified to see the confused faces of the young girls and boys who stood at center court. Dr. Gupta’s poor judgment subjected them to thousands of fans booing in their direction. Their lives have already been hard enough, without having to add the ordeal of facing a huge arena full of angry, yelling fans. I urge my fellow Hoyas not to let one person’s opinion overshadow the message that was meant to be presented. There are over 95,000 patients who are currently waiting for an organ transplant in this country. Countless patients at our university’s own hospital have seen the impact that a donation can make.

Paul Weisbruch (MED ’10) Feb. 26, 2007

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