Opinion: Fairness in liver transplants can be a constitutional issue

Understanding claims that denial of an organ transplant violates an individual's constitutional rights can identify ways to limit discrimination and exclusion and improve the fairness of organ allocation.

Liver failure is a terrible way to die: a painful belly full of fluid, vomiting blood, mental confusion, and repeated hospitalizations. The only cure is liver transplantation but, as is the case for all types of transplants, there aren’t nearly enough donor livers to go around.

This shortage raises two important questions: Who should receive a transplant? And what rights do transplant candidates have?

Choosing who gets a transplant is among the most charged and challenging tasks of modern medicine. In the U.S., about from all forms liver disease each year; more than 8,000 get liver transplants. Even those these individuals are so sick that no operation other than transplantation itself would be considered safe, 90% of liver transplant recipients survive the year after transplant, and . The cost of

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