Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images file. Dr. Niraj Desai, center, and others prepare a kidney for a recipient during a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. , in June. Proposed guidelines would change the way kidney donations are allocated.
A lot of lives are lost every day because there simply are not enough organs to give to everyone who needs one. As of this week, more than 115,00 people are waiting for a heart, lung, liver, kidney or other organ, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
Still, many people don't donate their organs when they die. The reality of the shortage means that hard choices have to be made about who else may die as a result.
The United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, is asking for public comment on a change in how kidneys are distributed. Starting today, people can let their views be known about a policy that would mean that some who would have lived under the old rationing rule will now die, while others will have a much better shot at life.
I believe this change is fair -- and even necessary -- to ensure that those who can get the most use out of the best kidneys have access to those organs. It’s the right way to allocate a precious commodity that’s in short supply.