The shortage of organs for transplantation is a thorny problem. Nearly 118,000 people in the U.S. are on waiting lists for transplants of kidneys, hearts, livers, and other organs; an estimated 8,000 of them will not live to receive a transplant.
The desperate situation has spurred various searches for solutions. Scientists are working on ways to preserve donated organs longer and are developing algorithms that factor in a patient’s proximity to a transplant center along with their health characteristics. Others have suggested ways to increase the organ supply, maybe through financial compensation for donors, or via relaxed standards for donated organs.