A new change by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) may drastically affect how organs are distributed to those requiring a transplant.
Under the current policy, the list disregards age and health status, and only accounts for where the patient is in line. Right now, the organ transplant list is close to 90,000.
Medical officials explain that the current method for assigning organs just is “not fair”, and improvements need to be made.
If the new changes pass, organs will be allocated to those who are expected to live longest and to individuals who are within 15 years of the age of the donor.
These new changes are believed to be an improvement, as someone expecting to live just 10 more years, does not need an organ that can adequately function for 40 years or more.
Additionally, it does not make much sense for a recipient expected to live at least 40 more years to receive an organ that may only last for 10 years.
Only around 17,000 Americans actually receive the required transplant they need each year, and nearly 5,000 people die waiting for their transplant.
The same principle is used during extreme danger, as resources are allocated to those who are most likely to survive.
Debates are surely to ensue, but health officials believe the new policy to be a drastic improvement on the current way of donating organs.