"With so many people waiting for kidneys from deceased donors, UNOS wisely recognizes that it's time to review guidelines to assure we are making the best possible use of scarce and life-giving resources," says Mayo Clinic transplant surgeon Mark Stegall, M.D., who chairs the group.
The review group, the Kidney Allocation Review Subcommittee, is a nationwide collaboration of transplant specialists who have been reviewing allocation issues for months and soliciting input from the public. In announcing its preliminary findings this week, the group emphasizes its embrace of both collaboration and public comment. To participate in the process, members of the public are invited to e-mail UNOS at http://www.unos.org, under the "contact" section.
The public review comment extends through summer and possibly fall 2005. The UNOS board is expected to receive any kidney allocation guideline changes in November 2005 or June 2006.
Open Process Helps Identify Solutions to Tough Questions
Hearings to date have addressed many difficult issues involved in kidney transplantation. Among them are: ethical issues; barriers that may prevent patients from having equitable access to the organ allocation system; medical issues about tissue typing and immune system profiles that determine whether an organ will be accepted or rejected; and a review of kidney allocation systems in other c