- Jul 2011
Hicks: New Organ-Sharing Guidelines May Prompt National Conversation
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) recently released organ procurement guidelines for public comment that are sure to prompt ethical debate.
In the first overhaul of the system in 25 years, UNOS announced younger, healthier people will be given priority preference for kidneys over older, sicker people.
This is a major change over the previous system which favored patients on a waiting list – first come, first served – irrespective of age or health condition.
Allocating medical resources will be a national priority – one that healthcare professionals, bioethicists and the public will all weigh in on. The first step in addressing these issues is to stop demonizing the “R” word and admit that we have to make difficult choices – choices that will not please everyone.
Whether you agree or disagree with the new criteria set forth by UNOS, I view it as an attempt to use limited resources in a way that will do a maximum of good. They should be applauded for the courage to tackle this difficult issue despite the chorus of critics. We can only hope that more healthcare professionals will follow UNOS’ lead in addressing medical allocation issues with an eye towards moral and practical solutions. It is a conversation that will engage all levels of society, and one we cannot afford to put off.
So. It starts. The arguments and rationalizations for health care rationing. Not only do the Liberals want to engage in class warfare to rationalize tax increases, now they want to engage in age warfare. Soon, the pliable young people will be willing to throw their elders under the bus for the sake of a little more health care.
What a sad, sorry state of affairs the Liberals have brought us to.