Thursday, October 9, 2008

Organs for transplantation

The Economist has a good article summarizing The gap between supply and demand for transplantable organs around the world, and the various ways in which organs are and have been obtained, and some of the factors that get in the way of increasing supply.

The article has a table that makes the often overlooked point that the U.S. has very high donation rates of both live and deceased donor organs compared to most other countries*, despite having an opt-in system (you aren't a donor unless you (or your next of kin) says you are). But the shortage persists...

*The U.S. has the second highest live donor rate after Iran, which has a market for kidneys, and second highest deceased donor rate after Spain. When I spoke about kidney exchange at the Barcelona Clinic in 2004, the transplant coordinators there attributed their success to the professionalization of the job of acquiring deceased donor organs.

hat tip to Juan Camilo Cardenas

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