This is Science Today. Many difficult ethical issues
have come up in the field of organ transplantation.
Dr. John Roberts, chief of transplant services at
the University of California, San Francisco, says
because of a lack of donors, one of the main issues
is deciding how to allocate organs.
As the demand for transplantation increases, we're
really left with these issues about how do we get
organs distributed fairly or with justice?
With limited resources, a philosophy called triage
often comes into play.
There's sort of wartime triage and there's peacetime
triage. Peacetime triage generally occurs in situations
where you have enough of a resource, you just have
to figure out who needs to go first. Where, wartime
triage is you just say, I can't take care of this
guy - let him die. That's sort of the battlefield
triage kind of system and one that transplantation,
particularly of the life-saving organs, heart and
liver is sort of been moving toward.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.