Friday, January 30, 2004

UNOS supports donors rights

At its June 2003 board meeting, the UNOS board meeting adopted the following resolution:

"WHEREAS the consensus among transplant professionals, donor families, and transplant candidates and recipients attending the UNOS Research to Practice Consensus Conference regarding organ donation was that, to the extent medically feasible, the wishes of those who give the gift of life through organ donation by executing a valid anatomical gift instrument
indicating their wish to become an organ donor upon death should be honored,

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED that the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors endorses the principle that the wishes of organ donors should be honored upon death to the extent medically feasible and that state and federal laws should reflect such principle. To that end, the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors strongly encourages the adoption and full implementation in all states of the provisions of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act as amended pertaining to honoring the donor's wishes and the adoption of legislation expressly prohibiting valid organ donations from being reversed after the donor's death or declined for any reason other than medical suitability."

Since UNOS supports a person's right to become a donor, it should also state that it supports a donor's right to donate his/her organs first to another donor. UNOS hasn't done that yet, but their support isn't needed. Your organs are yours, and the law says you can decide who gets them. UNOS has stated it won't block a LifeSharers member's wish to give his/her organs to another member.

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LifeSharers logistics

The Denver Post published a story about LifeSharers a few days ago.

The story quotes a spokesman for the organ procurement organization in Colorado as saying "it could be a nightmare trying to honor a LifeSharers donor's wish to give organs to another member who is not sick enough to rank high on the national recipient list." This is not true. The LifeSharers donor card contains simple instructions to transplant personnel. It tells them to call either of two telephone numbers to get names of LifeSharers members who are on the national transplant waiting list.

The story also quotes a UNOS spokesperson as saying that UNOS "would not block a member's wish to provide organs to other network members." UNOS maintains the national transplant waiting list.

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