UNOS member organizations, transplant candidates, recipients and donor family members work together to develop organ allocation policies that give every transplant candidate an opportunity at receiving the organ they need.
Organ allocation policies are always being reviewed and revised as part of an ongoing effort to improve the transplantation process. All policies and bylaws regarding organ allocation are available for review:
How Policies Are Made
Transplantation is the only field in medicine in the U.S. in which patients have a formal role in making policies. There are five basic steps to developing organ distribution policies:
- An individual, such as a member of the public, brings an issue to the attention of the OPTN/UNOS.
- OPTN/UNOS committees discuss the issue and consider recommending a new policy or policy change.
- Patients, OPTN/UNOS members and the public comment on any proposed policy change or new policy.
- The OPTN/UNOS commitee considers all public comment before reommending a policy change of new policy to the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors.
- The OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors votes on whether to adopt the policy change or new policy.
- OPTN/UNOS submits the policy to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for review and approval. Organ allocation policy is voluntary until approved by HHS.
Through its various committees, anyone, at anytime, can bring an issue to the attention of the OPTN/UNOS.
Making Ethical Policies
Organ allocation policies are designed as equitable as possible while making the best use of the limited number of donor organs. Race, gender, religion, socio-economic status or personal/behavioral history are not taken into account in organ allocation policy.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is committed to providing accurate and reliable information for transplant patients. The content on this page was originally created on July 18, 2003 by UNOS and last modified on April 15, 2009.
This Web site is intended solely for the purpose of electronically providing the public with general health-related information and convenient access to the data resources. UNOS is not affiliated with any one product nor does UNOS assume responsibility for any error, omissions or other discrepancies.