ORGAN ALLOCATION I: Debate Would Be Resolved With More Donors
While many Orange County organ transplant surgeons "anxiously monitor" the congressional debate over organ allocation, most are unsure how the debate should be resolved. Although the controversy has centered on whether donor organs should be given to patients based on proximity rather than need, some argue that an increase in the number of organ donors would end the controversy, the Orange County Register reports. UC-Irvine Medical Center transplantation surgery chief Dr. David Imagawa said, "If we doubled the consent rate, we wouldn't have this discussion." Still undecided in the geography versus need issue, Imagawa said that unless the debate focuses on the need for more organ donors, any new policy will not help critically ill patients. To highlight the need for more donors, the Southern California Organ Procurement Center (SCOPC) in Orange County -- which governs a seven county region -- said it oversaw 168 donor transplants last year. And, with a population of 2.4 million, only 39 Orange County families consented to organ donation last year, SCOPC said. Imagawa indicated that, regardless of the allocation policy, without the donations, "The patients are losing" (Saar, 4/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.