Many patients ineligible for transplants

March 23, 2008

Thousands of Americans listed as waiting for organ replacements do not qualify as recipients, United Network for Organ Sharing statistics reveal.

Of the almost 98,000 people listed, more than a third are deemed "inactive," which means they are not qualified to accept an organ if it is offered to them, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Patients reportedly can be listed as inactive for a number of reasons, such as being too ill or too healthy.

Critics argue the high number of ineligible patients listed could be a sign they are spending too much time waiting. They also argue that leaving inactive patients on the list could be misleading for possible recipients, donors and lawmakers regarding the level of need for organs, the Post reported.

The United Network for Organ Sharing, which is required by Congress to manage the U.S. organ replacement program, said many people are only ineligible for small amounts of time due to non-permanent health problems.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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