The Projected Impact of New Kidney Allocation Rules

An Op-Ed piece in the New York Times (Friedman Ross and Hippen, March 5, 2011) contests the impact of new kidney allocation rules that would provide preference to allocate the organs of young donors to young recipients.  The authors suggests such a rule may decrease the available organs. The logic of their argument is that currently, young recipients create an incentive for donors to donate their organs.  Once the younger donors are ensured priority, the authors argue that organ donations may decrease. They also argue that the success of a transplant is difficult to predict, hence the allocation based on age may not work as intended. The impact of fewer organs overall is to hurt patients.  How significant an impact are young patients in incenting organ donation ? Should poor forecast accuracy of organ allocation imply that this seemingly improved rule be abandoned ?

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One Response to The Projected Impact of New Kidney Allocation Rules

  1. Gerlinde Mikolik says:

    Organ donation is a controversial topic. Often a new organ is the only possibility for a patient to survive. The new rule that ensures priority to younger patients is discriminatory; the old rule was better since there are no studies revealing that organ transplants for young patients are more successful than for older patients. The author is probably right with his assumption that the number of donations will decrease. The better solution would be to increase the number of donors, since this number is still very low. A desirable target would be that every healthy person should become a donor. Thus, an increase in donors can solve the problem making the new rule obsolete.

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