Real People

Kidney Transplantation: Past, Present, and Future

Are organs allocated based on race?

Question was submitted by: (anonymous)


 Are organs allocated based on race?
 When an organ procurement organization ("OPO") places a person on the UNOS waiting list race is a part of the information that is collected by UNOS. They use this information to develop and evaluate allocation policies and for research purposes. They also collect other information on the potential recipients such as lab values and the duration of their illness. Only the donor coordinator knows the organ donor's race until the follow-up information is submitted to UNOS a month later.


 Race does not play a part WHAT SO EVER in the allocation of organs. If a donor's family stated that they only want their loved one's organs to be transplanted into a person of a particular race, the OPO would tell them that they could not guarentee this and would decline to proceed with the donation under those terms. Every effort would be made to have the family agree to allocate their loved one's organs by current UNOS policy. UNOS has made great efforts to ensure a fair allocation system, one that does not look at a person's heritage, sex, social status, or race.

Steve Emery (organ procurement coordinator), Iowa Statewide Organ Procurement Organization


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