Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics



SPECIAL SECTION: TRANSPLANTATION ETHICS: OLD QUESTIONS, NEW ANSWERS?
SPECIAL SECTION: TRANSPLANTATION ETHICS: OLD QUESTIONS, NEW ANSWERS?

Public Policy, Public Opinion, and Consent for Organ Donation


LAURA A.  SIMINOFF a1 and MARY BETH  MERCER a1
a1 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio

Abstract

Medical advances in transplantation techniques have driven an exponential increase in the demand for transplantable organs. Unfortunately, policy efforts to bolster the organ supply have been less than effective, failing to provide a stopgap for ever-increasing numbers of patients who await organ transplantation. The number of registrations on waiting lists exceeded 65,245 in early 1999, a 325% increase over the 20,000 that existed 11 years earlier in 1988. Regrettably, more than 4,000 patients die each year while awaiting transplantation.



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