Organ Shortage

Why don't more Americans donate?


Organ-transplant surgery is a proven approach to treating kidney failure, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. But most medically advanced countries are saddled with a wide gap between the number of transplant candidates and the number of available organs. Nearly 81,000 people in the U.S. are currently waiting for vital organs. Meanwhile, more than 6,000 Americans die every year because they don't get the organs they need in time. Some experts say allowing financial incentives for organ donation would eliminate the shortage. Others say the solution is xenotransplantation, or transplanting animal organs into humans. Meanwhile, critics contend the organ-allocation system favors affluent whites over minorities, and a global black market in organ parts targets desperately poor living donors.

Norberto Papa, left, and Napoleon Custodio show their ...

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