Saving Lives and Improving Health Care through Innovation in Organ Donations and Transplants
The White House | BY JEFFREY ZIENTS, THOMAS KALIL, DR. MARY WAKEFIELD
There are currently more than 120,000 people on the waiting list for an organ in the United States. Twenty-two people a day die waiting.
But today, we’re taking one step forward to change that. In honor of National Donate Life Month, the President issued a Proclamation that solidifies his Administration’s commitment to shortening the organ waiting list, emphasizing that “across government, industry, academia, private organizations, and the medical and philanthropic communities, we must all do our part to lift up donors, donor families, and patients by supporting efforts to shorten the organ waiting list.”
Today’s Proclamation builds on the action this Administration has taken to improve outcomes for individuals waiting for organ transplants and support living donors.
Each year, approximately 6,000 Americans make the selfless decision to become a living organ donor, facilitating life-saving kidney and liver transplants. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, individuals who have donated organs have access to health insurance without worrying whether their donation will be considered a pre-existing condition.
The HOPE Act signed by President Obama in 2013 laid the groundwork for the first HIV-positive to HIV-positive transplants in the United States. This week, surgeons at Johns Hopkins announced that they had performed the first-in-the-world HIV-positive to HIV-positive liver transplant and the first-in-the-U.S. HIV-positive to HIV-positive kidney transplant. These medical successes will pave the way for as many as 1,000 people a year in the United States to have access to life-saving transplants that would not have been possible before. Continue reading