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Sen. Toomey's Statement On Organ Network Policy Changes


Location: Washington, DC

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, the national panel that sets organ donation guidelines, today announced a protocol for younger children to potentially be treated equitably on the adult list for lungs, but only after a review period of potentially seven days.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued the following reaction.

"I commend the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network for acknowledging that the status quo is flawed with respect to children under 12. I appreciate that the OPTN was open to considering substantive reform.

"While I am still reviewing the policy changes, I am concerned about a seven-day waiting period during which a child with an urgent need, who is a suitable transplant candidate, is excluded from the transplant list while a panel reviews the case. This strikes me as problematic.

"Nevertheless, this issue could be solved at once if Secretary Sebelius would use the authority granted to her by existing law to stop the discrimination that is occurring against children under the age of 12. Medical need and suitability, not age, should be the criteria determining how organ donations are prioritized."

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