Proposed Organ Transplant Waitlist Would Distribute Human Organs Based on “Equity” 

( The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is a private non-profit organization that manages the transplant waiting list under contract with the federal government. They are advocating for a system that weakens safeguards for live donors. 

According to a paper commissioned by UNOS, priority for live donors would be drastically reduced, from an almost certainty of receiving a new kidney to a tiny bonus on the waiting list. This measure would betray individuals who have previously donated organs and dissuade potential new donors. 

UNOS is advocating for this strategy despite their studies showing that it would not lower mortality rates and will increase the number of unsuccessful kidney transplants in the first year after surgery. 

The study commissioned to support this strategy by UNOS demonstrates that transplant rates by race and ethnicity will little change, despite the organization’s emphasis on ideals like openness and fairness. A disastrous policy would inhibit organ donation from live donors. 

More than 90,000 people in the United States are on the kidney transplant waiting list; each year, more than 5,000 people are willing to donate a kidney. 

Living kidney donation has been hindered due to policy changes, such as the one that prioritized minors on the kidney waiting list in 2005. Although this approach enhanced kidney access from dead donors, it also raised demand. 

UNOS spokeswoman Anne Pashcke insisted that reducing the priority for future live donors was always the goal and that they had no intention of making previous organ donors less critical. A former live donor’s score might now account for up to 15% of the total, but the plan does not mention differentiating between donors who gave before and after the regulation change. 

UNOS should spread the word that prioritizing dead donors above live ones or using the word “equity” to justify discouraging organ donations is never acceptable.