Each day, nearly 60 Americans receive a transplanted kidney, liver, or other organ-a literal "second chance at life"-but 11 others die waiting for an organ transplant. The number of donors, although rising, is not growing fast enough to meet the increasing demand. Intended to improve the current system of organ procurement and allocation, the "Final Rule," a 1998 regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sparked further controversy with its attempts to eliminate the apparent geographic disparities in the time an individual must wait for an organ.
This book assesses the potential impact of the Final Rule on organ transplantation. It also presents new, original analyses of data, and assesses medical practices, social and economic observations, and other information on: access to transplantation services for low-income populations and racial and ethnic minority groups; organ donation rates; waiting times for transplantation; patient survival rates and organ failure rates leading to retransplantation; and cost of organ transplantation services.