The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Liver Committee is currently considering a proposal to improve the system that governs the distribution of livers for transplant. The reforms would help ameliorate long-standing disparities in wait times for patients needing liver transplants in throughout the country, and would save hundreds of lives if implemented. The public comment period on this proposal has begun! The amount of supportive comments received will be a key factor for the Committee in determining whether to move forward with these changes.
This July, CODE is highlighting a tragic reality for the nearly 120,000 men, women, and children who are currently waitlisted: roughly 8,000 people die each year because they lack the necessary access to a lifesaving transplant. The research surrounding this fact is abundant, and the time to act is now.
“Allocation policies... shall not be based on the candidate’s place of residence or place of listing.” - Final Rule, 121.8(a)(8)
Today, many of the patients on the nation’s organ transplant list continue to wait longer than they should for an organ. Economic and geographic disparities continue to plague the organ transplant system. Where you live and how much money you make should not determine whether you live or die while waiting for an organ, but sadly, this is a reality that many Americans face each year.
This month’s theme is to #MakeTransplantsFair by addressing the economic inequity within the current organ transplant system. There’s no simpler way to put it: the more money a patient has, the easier it is for that patient to receive a transplant. Every candidate for a life-saving transplant should have an equal shot at getting one, regardless of where you live and how much money you make.
April is National Donate Life Month (NDLM), a month commemorating those who have received transplants, to recognize those who continue to wait, to honor donors and donor families, and to thank registered donors for giving hope. Established by Donate Life America and partnering organizations in 2003, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional, and national activities aimed at encouraging Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation
This month’s theme is focused on debunking some of the most common #TransplantMyths found in the organ distribution reform discussion today. While the merits of distribution reform have been well documented, the debate is often saturated with misleading information. It’s important to have a constructive, fact-based dialogue when discussing the need for liver distribution reform.
Here are four of the most common myths about organ distribution reform:
Where you live should not determine whether you live or die while waiting for an organ.
Unfortunately, the nation’s organ allocation system continues to make an already dire situation worse by creating geographic disparities in access to organs for transplant: people living in some parts of the country wait far longer and are sicker when they receive an organ than those in other parts of the country. Consequently, hundreds of Americans needlessly die every year while waiting for organs.