The organ allocation system has unintentionally been discriminating against African Americans for years. Dr. Jerry McCauley, Director of the Division of Nephrology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, was recently interviewed by NBC10 on his personal story and as a trailblazer for equality in organ allocation. According to NBC10, African Americans make up 35% of the population suffering from kidney failure and only received about 20 percent of new kidneys.
Dr. McCauley told NBC10, “You see patients dying. You see them sitting on dialysis forever and they’ll ask you, ‘doctor, why aren’t I getting a kidney?’ And then you see other people come in and get a kidney right away.”
In order to combat this discrimination, Dr. McCauley worked closely with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Minority Affairs Committee to rework the way patients earn time on the transplant list as new science became available. Now patients who are on dialysis before being listed, can apply that time to their wait once they are officially placed on the list.