NEW YORK - Saving the living has always been the No. 1 priority for a New York City ambulance crew. But a select group of paramedics may soon have a different task altogether: saving the dead. The city is considering creating a special ambulance whose crew would rush to collect the newly deceased and preserve the body so that the organs might be taken for transplant.
The "rapid-organ-recovery ambulance," still in the early planning stages, could raise a host of ethical questions and strike some families as ghoulish. But top medical officials in the Fire Department and Bellevue Hospital say it has the potential to save hundreds of lives.