Advocacy Ethical Considerations Living Donor Protections OPTN

How Living Donors Fare on OPTN’s Board…

Final Rule 2000, aka CFR 42, Part 121. creates ACOT, and establishes membership criteria for OPTN, and its Board of Directors. Approximately 50% are transplant surgeons or transplant physicians and:

“At least 25 percent transplant candidates, transplant recipients, organ donors and family members… These members shall not be employees of, or have a similar relationship with OPOs, transplant centers, voluntary health organizations, transplant coordinators, histocompatibility experts, or other non-physician transplant professionals; however, the Board may waive this requirement for not more than 50 percent of these members.”

In 2010, the BoD included 45 members, 2 non-voting. Only 3 are not connected to a transplant center, organ procurement organization (OPO), or histocompatibility laboratory. 1 is a ‘donor wife’ who has served on an OPO board in the past; 1 is a former hospital CEO and a kidney recipient; and 1 living donor.

4 living donors out of 45 board members: the one mentioned above, plus an uncle (director of special promotions for Donate Life Foundation, an OPO) and niece (who has NO qualifications to be on the board that I can see), and a fourth who serves on the board of Donate Life Kentucky (OPO).

Given these facts, it should be no surprise that OPTN has failed repeatedly to implement policies to protect and respect living donors. Our voices are simply drown out – or not welcome at all.

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