Drs. Hanaway, MacLennan and LockeDivision of Transplantation faculty Michael Hanaway, M.D., Paul MacLennan, Ph.D., and Jayme Locke, M.D., MPH, were recently featured in JAMA Surgery for their response to a policy change in organ allocation.

Ultimately, they state that to create an equitable allocation system that mitigates disparities requires an objective, in-depth look at available data, as well as clinical perspective and practicality that extend beyond simulation capabilities. They argue that the new, proposed geographic redistribution of kidneys for transplant, would exacerbate existing disparities.

In their response, Drs. Hanaway, MacLennan and Locke shared their collective surprise at the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) support for the new geographic redistribution policy, given that the policy is set to result in a net loss of kidneys for transplant. They argue that in the context of an ongoing organ shortage any policy change predicted to result in a decrease in organs for transplant is inherently flawed and should not be tolerated.

Transplant faculty close the response by providing evidence from transplantation practices at UAB, and ask that “conscientious partners, such as OPOs and policy makers, will work with transplant clinicians toward our common goal to equitably serve the patient.”

In the past, both Locke and Hanaway have spoken out against the new proposed geographic redistribution of kidneys for transplant. Hanaway uses his platform as a UNOS representative of Region 3 to do so, and Locke also engages in national conversations at symposiums and in research.

“Our main goal is to ensure that organs continue to be allocated equitably and that underserved populations are not overlooked,” said Locke. “We believe it is imperative that we are thought leaders who champion policy that improves the lives of our patients and speak against policy that does not.”