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March 23, 1984

Promoting Organs for Transplantation

Author Affiliations

Surgeon General Public Health Service Washington, DC

JAMA. 1984;251(12):1591-1592. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340360057030

As a pediatric surgeon, I have special reason to be moved by appeals for organs to transplant to small children. The President has asked me to help in a number of cases, and I have done my best to respond. Like many others, however, I know that individual appeals, particularly through the mechanism of television and the other media, do not constitute a long-term resolution of the problem of organ procurement. Like others, I feel frustration (occasionally lightened when I hear of a temporary oversupply of livers for children), and wish I could command more permanent solutions to appear. Complex problems, however, surround the procurement of organs for transplantation. I can only tell myself, as I would others, "Organ transplantation is having its growing pains. Don't panic."

That a single bold move will not resolve such a complex problem is illustrated by the nation's experience with the Uniform Anatomical Gift

Sadler AM Jr, Sadler BL, Stason B, et al:  Transplantation: A case for consent .  N Engl J Med 1969;280:862-867.Crossref
Griepp RB:  A decade of human heart transplantation .  Transplant Proc 1979;9:285-292.
Koop CE:  Increasing the supply of solid organs for transplantation .  Public Health Rep 1983;98:566-572.