Monday, September 14, 2015

ORGAN DONOR PRIORITIES SHIFT WHEN RECIPIENTS ARE SEEN AS INDIVIDUALS, STUDY FINDS

NJ Spotlight | Andrew Kitchenman

Who should get a “new” kidney when a donor organ is available is always a difficult decision. Should it go to the person who’s been waiting longest, or someone who can benefit most?

A new series of studies coauthored by a pair of Rutgers University researchers has shed new light on what the public thinks about making this kind of tradeoff: People are more likely to give priority to patients who are in the greatest need of a new kidney if they see the patients as individuals, rather than as members of a group.

The study’s authors say their research could prove useful to policymakers as they refine how organs are distributed nationally.

Deciding on these priorities has long been a challenge for the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, which last year made changes that are intended to help ensure that organs are given to those who would benefit the most.

This study suggests the organ network could go even further in that direction without prompting a public backlash. Continue reading

 

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