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By Tamara L. Roleff

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ORGAN TRANSPLANTS AND THE POOR First, misperceptions about accessibility to organs are based on the premise that recipients will pay donors for organs and on the conjecture that organ prices will be high. At present, most of the costs of an organ transplant are borne by insurance companies and Medicare; otherwise, low-income patients would simply be unable to have transplants. In other words, under the current system, transplants are paid for by someone other than the organ recipient. This system of subsidizing transplant costs for relatively poor patients could easily be extended to cover the costs of organ procurement.

Barry Came “The Prospect of Evil,” Maclean’s, March 10, 1997. ” Time, November 8, 1993. Free Inquiry Special section on cloning humans, Summer 1997. Available from PO Box 664, Amherst, NY 14226-0664. ” Time, June 16, 1997. Hastings Center Report Special section in response to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission’s Report on human cloning, September/October 1997. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal Special issue on the ethics of cloning human embryos, September 1994. Available from 2715 N.

49 Biomedical Ethics Frontmatter 2/26/04 4:02 PM Page 50 2 CHAPTER WHAT ETHICS SHOULD GUIDE ORGAN DONATIONS? Biomedical Ethics Frontmatter 2/26/04 4:02 PM Page 51 CHAPTER PREFACE The number of people on the waiting list for organ transplants on any given day in 1996 ranged between 44,000 and 50,000, while approximately 70,000 Americans were registered for a transplant at some point during the year. Although 20,260 new organs were transplanted in 1996, only 5,411 people provided those organs. And the waiting list for organs never seems to diminish—about 4,300 people were added to the 1996 list, replacing the approximately 4,000 who died due to a lack of available organs.

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