Study: Liver donations in South Carolina would be sent to patients in the Northeast under new proposal

When the United Network of Organ Sharing unveiled a proposal last year to dramatically change the way liver donations are allocated in the United States, alarm bells began sounding in hospital hallways across the Southeast.

The proposal would divert hundreds of liver donations away from Southern states and send them to transplant patients on waiting lists in the Northeast, mostly in New York and Massachusetts.

In theory, the solution made sense. There have long existed geographic disparities among liver transplant candidates in the United States. But some doctors in the South, including the director of transplant surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina, believe the proposal, in solving one problem, would create others.

And these doctors say the proposed solution fails to acknowledge some of the steep barriers to health care that patients in this part of the country already face.

"This has turned into, unfortunately, a nasty fight," said Dr. Raymond Lynch, a transplant surgeon at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Continue reading

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