An Open Letter to HHS Secretary Burwell on Ethically Increasing Organ Donation

Transplantation Direct

Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 1-19

Published Online First March 6, 2015


Hon. Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Washington, DC

Dear Madame Secretary:

In 1984, Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA). That statute not only established the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network but also enshrined in law a principle that had guided the development of organ transplantation worldwide over the previous 30 years: organs from living and deceased donors are precious gifts, and should not be bought and sold as market commodities.

Remove the Obstacles to Donation

The growing demand for transplants currently exceeds the supply of donated organs. In the previous decade, a collaborative effort among the Department of Health and Human Services, organ procurement organizations, physicians, and community groups produced a 25% increase in the number of deceased donor organs. Yet, over the course of the past ten years in the United States, the number of kidney transplants (which account for more than two thirds of all transplants) made possible by living donors has declined by approximately by a thousand...

Read the complete letter here courtesy of Transplantation Direct.

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