Once a family has consented to donation, the donor’s height, weight and blood type are entered into a computer tied into the national database operated by the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN). After the information is entered, the OPTN computer generates a list of individuals awaiting transplants who best match the donor’s blood and body size. Medical urgency and the amount of time on a waiting list also play an integral role in determining who receives an organ.
A patient’s race, gender, age, celebrity status, or income are not considered when deciding who receives an organ. Also, most costs associated with transplantation are covered by private insurance or Medicare.