The world of organ transplants appears about to change.
A federal agency may soon issue new rules for the system that oversees how donor organs are allotted for transplant. In addition, six patients have filed a lawsuit over the waiting periods for liver transplants in some states.
These proposed changes are being promoted in the name of fairness. But in a new GHN Commentary, Dr. Raymond Rubin of the Piedmont Transplant Institute argues that implementing these ideas would shortchange patients in Georgia and the rest of the South.
“There are three adult liver transplant programs within 200 miles of Atlanta,” Rubin writes. “In contrast, there are 15 within 100 miles of New York City. Southern patients have a higher likelihood of dying on the transplant list awaiting an organ while New Yorkers have the lowest risk of dying from their liver disease.” The last thing we need, he says, is a new system that makes these imbalances worse.