Thank you for the Op-Ed highlighting the severe racial and ethnic disparities in the realm of organ donation [“Communities of color need facts on organ donation, transplants,” Sept. 20, Opinion].
There are nearly 110,000 Americans waiting for transplants, with Black Americans three times more likely to suffer from kidney failure than white Americans. However, Black Americans are less likely to be placed on the transplant waitlist and less likely to donate organs. This reflects the wide gap in accessible medical information available between communities of color and those of Caucasian descent. In addition to medical education, Dr. Jeffrey Cooper, chief division of Transplant Surgery at Boston Medical Center, reported that financial barriers also bar marginalized patients from donating.
To accomplish transplant equity, please advocate to your congressional representatives to support the Living Donor Protection Act. Patients who are robbed of the effort normally devoted to organ-donation discussion can have ready access to medical resources since this act requires updated website media on live donation. It also protects living donors from limited coverage by insurance companies, thereby ensuring donors don’t have to choose between purchasing food and paying for transplantation surgery.
Ria Mohan, Redmond, founder and director, TRIO Youth Ambassadorship for Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness