LOS ANGELES, CA - UNOS, the agency that decides which patients receive organs, wants to change the way livers are distributed in our country.
The current protocol says that livers only go to patients that live relatively close to where the donor died.
The flaw in that rule is that the chances of getting an organ can depend more on where you live rather than how sick you are. The new rule would instead allow areas with a higher number of organ donors to send livers to regions with fewer donors, even if that means a cross country plane ride inside of a cooler.
However some transplant surgeons are not happy about it. Critics say it will be expensive and the logistics of a long distance transport will cancel out any small benefits for patients.
So should we redistribute the organs or focus more on recruiting organ donors? New York State proposed a bill that would lower the age of consent from 18 to 16 for organ donors. Iran has effectively eliminated its country’s kidney transplant waiting list since allowing payment for kidney donations. Kind of drastic but we are willing to try anything.
One donor can save up to eight lives given the number of organ parts that can be transferred between bodies. To us it seems like a no brainer. For more information on becoming a donor check out organdonor.gov