I want Jennifer Erickson, the author of the Oct. 7 op-ed “The heartbreak of organ donation,” to come spend a day at my organ procurement organizations (OPOs). At New England Donor Services, she could watch the medical screening process critical to protecting transplant recipient health and safety. Witness how often organs are turned down by transplant centers as they assess medical suitability for transplant. Be humbled in the presence of a family facing an unexpected tragic death who is asked to make a decision to donate. Come and observe firsthand these highly complex medical and raw human interactions, and then let’s discuss effective strategies for how OPOs can increase organ donation, as New England Donor Services has by 52 percent since 2012.

We agree new OPO metrics are essential. They should be an accurate assessment of OPO performance as well as a tool to drive improvement so more lives are saved through transplantation. Independent data reporting is also needed, as is an intellectually honest discussion about real organ donor potential if we want to make a meaningful difference rather than headlines.

At New England Donor Services, if a registered donor dies under the age of 75 from an irreversible brain injury, free of cancer or significant disease, and in a hospital and on a ventilator, his or her donated organs will be recovered for transplantation.

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Alexandra K. Glazier, Concord, Mass.

The writer is president and chief executive of
New England Donor Services.

Though Obama and Trump White House officials may not always agree, Jennifer Erickson raised an important issue of bipartisan concern. A system that leaves up to 28,000 organs from deceased donors on the table each year is one overdue for reform. Fortunately, change is possible.

To deliver this change, we need bipartisan commitment to see through President Trump’s call for reform. The monopoly nonprofit contractors who run our organ procurement system may have seen previous calls for reform come and go, but the data are clear: Patients deserve better.

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More than 100,000 Americans are waiting for lifesaving transplants. Every month, 1,000 people are removed from the waiting list because they have died or become too sick for surgery. No American should be forced to watch in despair as a loved one suffers when solutions are at our fingertips.

Abe Sutton, Cambridge, Mass.

The writer worked on President Trump’s executive order advancing American kidney health while serving in the White House from 2017 to 2019.

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