Sorry for the delay in these posts. This week and next week I am focusing more on my independent ethics research.
In 2019, the allocation system in the US for kidneys was updated. Instead of matching based on donation service (how many are available nearby), kidney allocation is based on geographical distance between donor and recipient. This poses a problem for patients living in areas further away from hospitals or where being an organ donor is not as common due to not being made aware as much.
Before this, KAS (Kidney Allocation System) was developed to respond to the problems that my research is proving like socioeconomic or racial factors that patients cannot control. The purpose of KAS was to address prioritization of transplant candidates by assessing donor longevity potential. The problem, however, with both this past system and the current system is that it still doesn’t compensate for biological differences amongst patients that they cannot control that still negatively affects them in not getting a transplant. It is already hard for Black patients to get a match in the kidney. On top of this, the current system does not take into account the fact that their lower success rate doesn’t mean that they are not deserving of a kidney. The system fails to take into account the lives that are dependent on these patients. It prioritizes length of life over quality of life. And it prioritizes success rate of chosen patients (patients who biologically have a higher likelihood of a successful outcome) over all patients (denying others of it altogether). Next week I will be looking at how other countries allocate.