How certain patients improve their odds for getting a transplant

The Washington Post had an informative article this past Tuesday on how certain patients improved their odds for getting a transplant. Much of it has to do with getting on wait lists at multiple centers and having the resources (mostly money and time) to do this. It also discusses the issue of the unequal supply and demand at transplant centers. The information is based on a research study.

The article is at

This was very interesting. I wonder if we just have to accept that wealthy people will always find a way to get what they want. If one person were just smarter than another, we might have an easier time accepting queue jumping than if they were wealthier.

Once I was in a checkout line and saw a cashier open up. I jumped quickly to form her new line.The people in my old line thought this was unfair, reckoning that the first person waiting had a claim to it. But that person hadn't paid attention. I hadn't pledged to stay in my line and so was a free person, and I chose to jump to the new cashier.

When we are children, people tell us that we can be anything we want to be. But it's not true. There are too many experiences that children of the wealthy have that cannot easily be had by a less wealthy person. For instance, there are good and bad tradespeople. Before a wealthy person hires a plumber, he asks his rich friend whom to hire. Since price doesn't matter, he will likely get a good plumber. A poor person will look in the phone book and pick the one with the lower price, or ask his poor friend for a reference, the result of which will likely not be as good.

Having worked for wealthier people, I have occasionally benefited from my contact with them. For instance, I once got an immediate appointment with an ophthalmologist. I often figure I need to get to know the transplant system well before I need it. Say I were to work for the Liver Foundation in my city. And say I eventually spoke to every doctor who does transplants. If I had spent years doing this, I might eventually have a small leg up. Would it be wrong then to benefit from this contact, also assuming I had worked hard for the Foundation?

Lara, I would not begrudge anyone the willingness to fight for their health, and especially if their life is on the line.

But on the other hand, I am glad there is an organization, like unos (however imperfect) that tries to make sure that things are done on an objective manner. Yes, we can, and should, continually question that process.


I agree with jeff.
If I can one day afford a private jet I will use it to fly to any transplant center needed. I will not feel guilty one bit.