New Harvest pp 241-254 | Cite as

Legal Aspects of Allocation

  • Eric C. Sutton
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society book series (CIBES)


Shortages in the supply of any resource inevitably lead to rationing and the development of policies designed to distribute those resources in an equitable manner. When the demand for any item far exceeds the supply, policies formulated to distribute those scarce resources must necessarily discriminate between potential recipients. The end result will be, therefore, that some will profit by those policies and receive the resource at the expense of others who must go without. For most Americans, the decision whether they are to be on the receiving end of a rationed resource is not a life or death decision. The policies governing the distribution of organs and tissues for transplantation does, however, present our society with such a life or death choice for many. The harsh reality is that demand for organs and tissues suitable for transplantation is increasing at a much greater pace than is the number of actual retrievals of these scarce human resources. Both federal and state laws have been enacted that are designed to promote and facilitate donation of organs and tissues for transplantation. However, these laws are still in their infancy and their impact on donation has not yet been felt or accurately measured.*


Solid Organ Transplant Legal Aspect Organ Procurement Transplant Program Foreign National 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric C. Sutton

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