Should Children Get Organ Donations First?

Filed under: Medical Conditions, In The News

organ donation

Just because you've been waiting the longest doesn't mean you'll be the first donor organ. Credit: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

With the current organ donation system, there is a list. When an organ, such as a kidney, becomes available, it's first-come, first-served. But some think that's not fair to younger patients.

According to published reports, the way the list is handled is being studied by the United Network for Organ Sharing.

The proposal, which is now available for public comment, is more specific than simply giving the youngest person on the list the donated organ. "Under one scenario, for 80 percent of kidneys, patients 15 years older or younger than the donor would get higher priority," the Washington Post reports. "The remaining 20 percent of organs -- those deemed to have the best chance of lasting the longest based on the age and health of the donor and other factors -- would be given to recipients with the best chances of living the longest based on criteria such as their age, how long they've been on dialysis and whether they have diabetes."

On the surface, this seems fair. A younger person has a better shot at living a longer life, right? But try telling that to someone who has been on the list for years and gets bumped just because someone is younger.

It's a complicated issue. But what do you think? Should children get organ donations first? Or should the system remain the way it is?

Join the discussion on Facebook!

Want to get the latest ParentDish news and advice? Sign up for our newsletter!


Flickr RSS



AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.