Transplant Allocation

Transplant Allocation
Michelle Byrne
University of Phoenix
Health Law and Ethics
HCS 545
Mary Cummings
July 10, 2013

Transplant Allocation
Organ allocation is done in a systematic fashion when an organ becomes available. In 1984 the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) was established. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) “coordinates organ donation and allocation throughout the U.S., but the system procurement and distribution actually involves multiple entities, including local procurement organizations and transplant centers” (University of Missouri, 2011, para. 1). Organs are removed at the hospital and sent to a transplant center where a recipient is waiting.
There are many ethical issues that have arisen since the first transplant took place, which has made the need for different acts very important. The first successful living-related organ transplant occurred in 1954 and was a kidney donated between identical twins. The first successful cadaver organ transplant, also a kidney, was done in 1962. Because of advances in technology there are more people waiting for organ transplants, this in part, helped to establish the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act in 1968 and the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) in 1984. NOTA “authorizes financial support for Organ Procurement Agencies (OPO’s) and prohibits buying or selling of organs in the United States” (New York Organ Donor Network, para. 6).

Organ type/waiting time
Many patients who are candidates for organ donation, excluding those who have living donors, must wait for an organ to become available because of the shortage of donor organs. Because each patient’s situation is different, his or her waiting time may vary. There are many considerations to be taken into account, depending on the organ. Some of these considerations “include but are not limited to: age, blood type, medical urgency, waiting time, geographic distance between donor and recipient, size of the organ donor to...