The National Organ Transplant Act Nota

In 1984, the National Organ Transplant Act was passed by Congress to address the need for better coordination and distribution of scarce organs. The Act established a national task force to study transplantation issues and to create a National Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The OPTN was started in 1986 and a Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), a data gathering and tracking service on transplants, began operation in late 1987. Both were funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through contracts awarded to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in Richmond, Virginia. UNOS now serves as the umbrella organization for national organ procurement, transplantation, and statistical information. The primary function of the OPTN is to maintain a national computerized list of patients waiting for organ transplants. All hospital transplant centers, organ procurement organizations, and tissue typing laboratories are required to meet the requirements for voting membership in the OPTN. Its purpose is to ensure equitable access to organs for critically ill and medically qualified patients and to guarantee that scarce organs are procured and used safely and efficiently.

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