Changes are needed in organ donation

Newsday Opinion | Jennifer Martin,
Hospital room. Photo Credit: iStock

There are more than 120,000 people waiting for organs in the United States. More than 100,000 of these individuals need kidneys. Kidneys are unique because most people have two, and it is possible for healthy individuals to donate one to someone in need. But there aren’t enough donated organs for everyone waiting, so clearly changes are needed.

The National Kidney Foundation believes there are effective, proven methods to increase donation and transplantation that are currently underused, and that addressing those issues would significantly increase the number of kidney transplants.

NKF believes that our community must focus on our efforts on expanding proven, safe ways to increase kidney donation and transplantation. We can do so by promoting and expanding opportunities for matched donation on a national level (paired exchange, donor chains).

Years ago NKF helped enact legislation in Congress to clarify that paired exchanges do not violate the National Organ Transplant Act, helping to enable more individuals serve as living kidney donors.

We can also cover all costs associated with living donation evaluation and recovery, including lost wages, travel expenses and childcare. More than a decade ago, NKF recommended the establishment of a federal grant program to assist lower-income individuals with travel and subsistence expenses related to donation. Continue reading
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