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Jennifer Heisler, RN

Israel Finds Controversial Way To Increase Organs Available For Transplant By Giving Donors Higher Priority

By March 15, 2010

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Israel, like most of the world, has a greater need for organ transplants than available organs.  In a step some call radical, Israel plans to increase available donor organs by placing those who sign up to be potential donors (as most Americans do when they renew their driver's license) higher on the waiting list than those who refuse to donate.

In some ways the idea make sense.  Why should you be able to get a donor organ if you are unwilling to donate your own upon your death?  You are willing to take but not give... that isn't fair is it?

Here's the opposing viewpoint: an estimated 100,000 of Israelites are Ultra-Orthodox Jews, a religion that does not permit organ donation prior to cardiac death.  So for these people, being placed lower on the list by not registering to be a donor could be a death sentence.

What do you think?

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March 16, 2010 at 9:44 am
(1) Dave Undis says:

Registered organ donors in the United States can get preferred access to donated organs by joining LifeSharers at http://www.lifesharers.org. Membership is free. There is no age limit, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

Nothing could be fairer than giving organs first to organ donors. If you’re not willing to register to be an organ donor, then you should go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ.

More importantly, putting organ donors first creates an incentive for non-donors to become donors. Thousands of Americans die every year waiting for organ transplants. Just about everyone would accept an organ transplant to live, but only about half of us have agreed to donate our organs after we die. It’s no wonder there’s such a large organ shortage.

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