- Carla CunninghamState Representative
- Gene GreenRepresentative
- Heidi HeitkampSenator
- Nydia VelazquezRepresentative
- Jerry NadlerRepresentative
- Nita LoweyRepresentative
- Pedro PierluisiRepresentative
- Fred UptonRepresentative
- Yvette ClarkeRepresentative
- Joe ZakasState Senator
Help living organ donors save lives
It’s tragic! Almost 30 Americans die every day waiting in vain for an organ, usually a kidney, which rarely arrives in time because there is a huge shortage of viable organs from deceased donors. We want to initiate change so more Americans can be saved. Furthermore, Americans should be helping Americans and not resorting to illegal organ trafficking abroad to try to save their lives.
Currently, the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 permits only very limited reimbursable expenses related to organ donation, which in most cases are only reimbursable if the recipient has the resources to do so personally. These restrictions place an undue burden on many potential American organ donors and recipients. To ease this burden, we urge Congress to amend the Medicare framework to compensate certain living donors in advance for expense they are likely to incur. This proposal would not require new appropriations--For each person given a kidney transplant, Medicare saves as much as $250,000 per patient per year on Dialysis related costs.
The amendments: (1) Medicare would compensate living donors willing to donate to people in the most need of a transplant; these are the patients at the top of the waiting list in the donor’s region. We estimate $14,000 would be a reasonable amount to help cover donation-related expenses such as travel, child or eldercare, and other household related expenses; (2) The age of eligibility for this program would be 21 and only U.S. citizens and five-year resident aliens would be eligible; (3) Compensated donors would need to pass all the health and psychological tests currently applicable to donors; (4) As a bonus -- Donors would be put on a registry which would allow them, if needed, to prioritize themselves or one relative to the top of the organ donor list in the region where they donated; (5) IRS registered non-profit charities would be free to help any livng donor with donation related expenses; and (6) To discourage both profiteering at home and abroad, there would be a new fine for brokering organ sales. “Brokering” would be carefully defined to exclude anyone who is currently allowed to profit from organ transplantation, recipients, donors, or non-profit charities.
The draft SOTN Act is one possible way to achieve these goals, and was created by SOTN over a five-month period in partnership with the legislative team at the D.C. law firm of Dickstein, Shapiro LLP.
For more information please see the Stop Organ Trafficking Now! website at www.stoporgantraffickingnow.org and the resource section that includes a collection of background materials. Also please see the materials available at the Center for Ethical Solutions website’s SOS (Solving the Organ Shortage) Project at www.ethicalsolutions.org/sos/
Watch the Steve Lessin video "As Time Runs Out" and help us save the lives of thousands of Americans like Steve who die every year because they can't get a kidney donation.
- State Representative
Save American lives and save Medicare money by amending the National Organ Transplant Act to remove the financial disincentives that hinder living donation.
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