New Yorkers make up about 10% of the 90,000 Americans awaiting organ transplants, and many die waiting. The Coalition for Organ Distribution Equity aims to change that. The organization supports a proposal made by the United Network for Organ Sharing to make the formula for organ allocation more linked to patient condition than geographic location. Based on current divisions, a Pennsylvania resident is eligible to get a new liver from New Jersey, but a New Yorker is not.
"The way organs are allocated is based on a geographic distribution that dates back to the 1980s and is not based on any particular medical rationale," said Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala, chief of the division of transplantation at Montefiore Medical Center, a CODE member. He said the coalition will lobby legislators to address another major factor affecting wait times: the low number of New Yorkers who sign up to be organ donors.