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April 19, 1995

Mandated Choice for Organ Donation

Author Affiliations

Stony Brook University Hospital Stony Brook, NY

JAMA. 1995;273(15):1177. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520390034026

To the Editor.  —I read the article on organ procurement by the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs and the accompanying Editorial from Drs Murray and Youngner2 with interest. I agree with both sources that mandated choice for organ donation is the most viable option to increase organ supply for those awaiting transplant. However, I wholeheartedly disagree with Murray and Youngner's ultimate assessment and recommendations for the situation. They believe that with respect to "appeal[s] for organ transplantation... some patience may be necessary."2 This is unacceptable considering the 35095 people awaiting transplant as of June 30, 1994,3 up from 34493 in 1993,4 according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. With only 18 165 transplants performed in 1993,4 a number of patients remain on the list, creating a difficult situation of supply not meeting demand.As the numbers of those waiting increase, Murray and Youngner

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