The agency that makes rules about organ transplants is considering some policy changes.
About 7,000 Americans every year receive a liver transplant — and with it, a new lease on life. But another 1,500 on the waitlist die before they are matched with a donor.
Now the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the agency that decides which patients receive donor organs, is planning to change the way livers are distributed across the country.
The current rule, which says that livers go to patients relatively close to where the donor died, has come under fire because it means that the chances of getting an organ can depend more on where you live than how sick you are.
The new rule, if approved, would instead allow regions with a high proportion of organ donors, relative to their local waiting list, to send livers to regions with a lower proportion of donors — even if that means a cross-country plane ride.
The architects of the new model estimate that transportation costs could grow from $269 million per year to $345 million, and that an average transplant would cost $4,700 more, but argue that the overall spending on transplant care would fall as more people became healthy faster. UNOS declined to comment on the cost, but said the method could save 52 additional lives every year. It would be the biggest revision to liver allocation rules since 2002.
|Read Full Article: Doctors Are Upset About A Huge Change In Organ Donation Rules – BuzzFeed News|