Stipulations placed on organ donation

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Purpose

The Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). This policy memorandum is to discuss the status of those who have been ineligible for the transplant list due to existing health problems that should be considered for transplantation, creating a better system for increased donor availability through better education and creating an opt-out system. This memorandum is to revise previous policies that have created to prevent those who need a transplant and alternatives that should be considered to solve this increasing problem.

Background

Since the creation of the ability to donate organs, thousands of lives have been saved from this medical advancement. However, there are those who do not fall within the qualifications of the organ donation list, that has been created by United Network of Organ Sharing. This group has strict guidelines that for many they are condemned to a life on dialysis, ventilator dependence, medication treatments that are sometimes worse than the actual disease.

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There are 115,000 Americans waiting on an organ transplant, 22 people die daily in the United States due to waiting on an organ to be donated (). Despite this growing need for organs there are many who are eligible to donate due and choose not to. If they chose to donate or their families elect to donate their organs, they can save upwards of 8 lives from their major organs, 2 people would be able to see again and if they chose to donate their tissue and bone it would help many heal from being in an accident, burns or cancer.

While being on the organ transplant list myself for a kidney, I was told that due to my blood type it would be close to 7 to 10 years before I would get the get of life from a new kidney. While those who have an O blood type their wait time is generally longer as they can only receive an O blood type donor. For these patients many wait upwards of 10 years or longer.

I urge UNOS and OPTN to consider creating a push for donation for living donors if the patient has the ability to get an organ. Many citizens do not know that there are organs that they can donate while they are alive. The liver is an amazing organ, that when you remove one third it will regenerate over time and you only need one functioning kidney to live. Creating an initiative for living donation would decrease the list extensively. I would also urge them to look at their guidelines, if there are medical treatments that would make the patient eligible for donation that they should exhaust those options before denying them from the list.

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