ORGAN TRANSPLANTS: Bill Would Give Children Priority
Children may have first priority for some organ transplants, even if adults are in greater need, under a new bill introduced Friday, the Denver Post reports. The Pediatric Organ Transplantation Act, sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), would give children priority in transplantation of pediatric organs, which under current regulations sometimes are given to adults. "It's going to be hard to find anybody to oppose this. ... Irrespective of what happens on the broader issue of health care coverage, this is something we should be starting on soon," DeGette said. She argued that there "has to be a way of balancing the playing field for kids." DeGette noted that the special needs of children are not properly considered by the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), as adults and children are listed together, and prioritized by their illness. The measure would also require that UNOS consider that children's diseases often progress more rapidly than most adult diseases. But not everyone thinks the legislation is appropriate. Jim Springer, a regional counselor to UNOS, said the company is already dealing with these issues. "It has happened to some degree and it's continually improved. There are a lot of people trying to make the system more effective and more fair. There's a balance between the science and the policy sides of it. A scientist and a politician may look at it differently" (Hughes, 1/29).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.