Controversies in Internal Medicine
September 08, 2003

Should Everyone Have Equal Access to Organ Transplantation?An Argument in Favor

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Transplantation Medicine, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, Ariz.




Copyright 2003 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2003

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(16):1883-1885. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.16.1883

SHOULD EVERYONE have access to organ transplantation? I believe the answer is yes, but let's first look at the problem. Currently there are over 80 000 people in this country waiting for some type of solid organ transplant. In 2002, there were only 24 888 transplantations performed in this country. This stark disparity between supply and demand led to 6571 deaths on the waiting list, more than 17 deaths a day. The gap between the number of people waiting for transplantation and the number of patients receiving a transplanted organ continues to widen. In fact, over the past 15 years there has been a 10-fold increase in the number of people remaining on the waiting list each year compared with the number of patients receiving a transplant.1