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Public Policy Governing Organ and Tissue Procurement in the United States: Results from the National Organ and Tissue Procurement Study

Laura A. Siminoff, PhD; Robert M. Arnold, MD; Arthur L. Caplan, PhD; Beth A. Virnig, PhD, MPH; and Debora L. Seltzer, BA
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From the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Grant Support: By grant HS06579 from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research of the U.S. Department of Health.

Requests for Reprints: Laura A. Siminoff, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Center for Medical Ethics, 3400 Forbes Avenue, Suite 100, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Siminoff and Arnold and Ms. Seltzer: University of Pittsburgh, Center for Medical Ethics, 3400 Forbes Avenue, Suite 110, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Dr. Caplan: University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics, 3401 Market Street, Suite 320, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3308.

Dr. Virnig: University of Miami, Health Policy Research Center, 630 Alton Road, Suite 402, Miami, FL 33139.

Ann Intern Med. 1995;123(1):10-17. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-123-1-199507010-00037
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A shortage of organs and tissues for transplantation has been present throughout most of the history of transplantation. As of 31 January 1995, 37 873 patients in the United States were awaiting solid-organ transplantation (1). It has been estimated that about one third of patients with heart or liver failure die before a transplantable organ is found (2). Other types of transplants are also scarce. On average, 3500 patients are awaiting corneal transplantation during any given month, and many more are awaiting transplants of bone, skin, and other tissues (3).

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