About Careers MedBlog Contact us

New Methods to Address Transplant Organ Shortages in US

by Shirley Johanna on March 31, 2015 at 11:31 AM
Font : A-A+

New Methods to Address Transplant Organ Shortages in US

The transplant waiting list in the United States continues to grow longer over time, which has led to a debate on strategies to incentivize living donations. Transplant professionals are trying new methods to eliminate financial disincentives without crossing the line to paying for organs. Leaders of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) discussed about the possible solutions to address the US transplant organ shortages at a recent workshop. The highlights of which is published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Due to organ shortages, thousands of Americans are on transplant waiting lists for 5 or more years as their health deteriorates, and more than 1,000 of them die each year. The AST and ASTS leaders have conceived an "arc of change" that starts with immediate work to remove all financial disincentives to organ donation for both living and deceased donors. They also believe that solving the organ shortage will require more action than simply removing disincentives.


"As we follow the arc of change from removing disincentives like loss of wages and travel costs, we must move to considering incentives for donation like health insurance post-donation to ensure the long-term safety of donors," said lead author Daniel Salomon, MD, of The Scripps Research Institute, in La Jolla. "However, when speaking in terms of removing disincentives and considering incentives, there is little agreement on exactly where the line exists separating the two." Dr. Salomon, who helped organize the workshop with Alan Langnas, DO, of the University of Nebraska, noted that it is important to involve a wide range of stakeholders - including physicians and surgeons, government officials, patients and families, ethicists, and legal scholars—in discussions on how to define that line.

Some individuals may feel that any kind of financial payment, including health insurance provision, is off the table for ethical reasons or because it could gravely damage the current organ donor process that is based on altruism. Dr. Salomon and his colleagues feel that such viewpoints may be too simplistic, and they would like to see studies designed to cautiously but effectively determine the true potential and impact of incentives of different kinds in the United States. "Which of our current assumptions are true, what innovations will be effective, what unintended consequences (including impacts internationally) will be realized, and what will ultimately be acceptable in legal, ethical and personal terms? Answering these questions should be the purpose of well-designed and critically reviewed pilot projects," they wrote.

An accompanying viewpoint article provides an ethical justification for conducting a pilot study of a federally regulated approach to providing financial incentives to living kidney donors, with the goal of assessing donors' perceptions. A second accompanying viewpoint, however, states that if human organs become commodities they will most certainly be obtained from the most financially vulnerable in society. Therefore, instead of introducing payments or incentives, the authors believe that the number of organs available for transplantation should be increased only by removing all financial disincentives for organ donation.

Source: Medindia


Recommended Reading

Latest Organ Donation News

 COVID-19 Positive Donor Hearts Lower Survival in Transplant Patients
An analysis of data from donors suggests donor hearts from patients who were COVID-19 positive could place transplant patients at increased risk of mortality.
 Clinical Trial Suggests Paradigm Shift for Lung Transplantation
Patients subjected to delayed transplantation using 10°C static lung preservation had a better outcome compared to patients transplanted performed using standard methods.
New Method to Treat Chronic Transplant Rejection Discovered
Researchers are hoping to test the antibody IL-15 in organ transplant patients to reduce chronic organ rejection.
 Identifying Patients Who Need Liver Transplants Faster
Research may speed the identification of patients who need liver transplants by analyzing blood samples to look for biomarkers associated with liver failure.
How Can T Cells Help Prevent Marrow Transplant Complications?
The discovery of T cells involvement in graft-versus-host disease is a vital step in finding more effective life-saving treatments for bone marrow transplant.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

New Methods to Address Transplant Organ Shortages in US Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests