ASTS develops position statements on transplant issues. Transplantation is a rapidly advancing field, and statements are periodically revised.
ASTS Position on Global Kidney Exchanges
Drafted and finalized by the ASTS Executive Committee, October 2017
ASTS supports efforts to increase access to transplantation by increasing the organ supply and by removing biologic, logistical, geographical, and financial barriers. ASTS supports efforts by the global transplant community to increase access to transplant care through kidney exchanges across national boundaries. ASTS also supports constructive engagement with transplant stakeholders in the developing world. In that regard, the Society supports the conceptual basis behind Global Kidney Exchanges. Further, we commend Dr. Rees and colleagues for their creativity, integrity, beneficence, and tireless efforts to pioneer Global Kidney Exchange to demonstrate its feasibility. The Society acknowledges that there is potential for abuse, particularly in regard to patient selection, coercion, and equitable participation. ASTS encourages further investigation into the ethics, logistics, governance, and financial aspects of Global Kidney Exchange.
ASTS Position on Health Care Reform
Drafted and finalized by the ASTS Executive Committee, July 2017
The American Society of Transplant Surgeons is committed to supporting the health care needs of organ transplant patients, living organ donors, and those with end stage organ disease. To that end, ASTS strongly believes that health care should be accessible for all our patients. Specifically, we believe that the following principles should be carefully considered before making any changes to the health care system in the United States.
- Living organ donors should not suffer discrimination or financial burdens associated with their act of altruism. Donating an organ should never be a reason to charge higher premiums for health insurance or deny life or disability insurance.
- Transplantation is the treatment of choice for end stage organ disease, resulting in better health outcomes and cost savings for the payor over the mid- to long-term than other treatment options. There is no valid medical or financial argument for excluding it from insurance coverage.
- Transplant patients and those with end stage organ disease, particularly those on dialysis, can experience variations in their Medicaid eligibility and thus coverage gaps. ASTS believes this vulnerable patient population should be exempted from any insurance coverage requirements that may endanger their access to care and thus their lives.
ASTS urges Congress and the Administration to work with provider and patient groups to craft solutions to ensure meaningful coverage is available to this vulnerable population.
ASTS Statement on Executive Order on Immigration
Drafted and finalized by the ASTS Executive Committee, January 2017
In the American Society of Transplant Surgeons’ 43-year history, our members have trained hundreds of surgeons from around the world in pursuit of our mission to advance the art and science of transplant surgery. Many of our members were born outside the United States and have contributed richly to science and healing of people of all colors and religions. Banning visitors and legal immigrants due to origin and religion is inconsistent with our values as Transplant Surgeons and Americans. We call upon the Administration to carefully consider all factors, including the wellbeing of our patients and colleagues, in making and enforcing immigration policy going forward.