Transplant List Called Misleading
1/3 of patients on the list not eligible for surgery
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2008 2:16 PM CDT
Actor Robert Goulet arrives at the 2005 Tony Awards, in this June 5, 2005, file photo. The big-voiced baritone died from a form of pulmonary fibrosis on Oct. 30 in Los Angeles while awaiting a lung transplant....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Thousands of patients on a national list for organ transplants are actually ineligible to receive them, the Washington Post reports. One third of the 98,000 patients on the United Network for Organ Sharing list are either too sick or too healthy to get a new organ. Critics say including these "inactive" patients on the list is "deceptive" and "dishonest."

UNOS points out that many of the inactive patients are temporarily ineligible due to fleeting complications. "Whether it's 75,000 or 100,000, there are still far more people who need transplants than can get them," said UNOS's president-elect. "None of this changes the fact that there is a significant number of people who die waiting." Still, critics and supporters agree that it should be more accurate because the list is UNOS's best "marketing tool" for recruiting donors.