Organ Donation Rules

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Task Force: Organ Donation Rules

Congratulations!

You are part of the hospital board at your local hospital and are tasked to come up with specific rules and guidelines for prioritization of organ donation to certain patients. You will be in charge of modifying the current policies for organ donation and deciding who will be prioritized when there are very few organs available.

Why Are We Doing This?

Almost anyone can apply to be an organ donor. If you have a medical condition that is causing an organ to fail, a transplant can be extremely beneficial and can even save your life. Organs can also be donated for research, therapy, or education. There were around 40,000 organ transplants performed in the United States in 2019. Here we ask you to consider what happens when there is a lack of supply of organs and design a plan to best prioritize those in need.

Steps:

  1. Before you start, get some brief information about UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing). Try to understand various organs that can be donated and for what kinds of diseases they are necessary. Then, design a plan to figure out how you will prioritize the donation of organs.
    1. What kinds of diseases will be prioritized?
    2. Will any specific age groups be prioritized? Why?
    3. Are there any other factors you can think of to prioritize the donation of organs? 
  2. Think through the possible objections about your prioritization that someone could have and how you would answer them.
  3. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your plan for prioritization for organ donating best takes into account the various needs of patients.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of guidelines for your plan. Choose a few that you feel confident about explaining and defending.
  • You do not have to consider all possible objections to your plan.
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