SPECIAL SECTION: TRANSPLANTATION ETHICS: OLD QUESTIONS,
NEW ANSWERS? SPECIAL SECTION: TRANSPLANTATION ETHICS: OLD QUESTIONS,
Public Policy, Public Opinion, and Consent for Organ Donation
LAURA A. SIMINOFF a1andMARY BETH MERCER a1 a1 Case Western Reserve University School of
Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
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.