Judge delays start of new organ donor policy

The controversial organ allocation policy creating a national waiting list for available organs did not go into effect as planned on Oct. 1.

A federal judge blocked the new system from taking effect until completion of a lawsuit filed by the state of Louisiana is heard. (For a history of the organ allocation debate, see Medical Ethics Advisor, April 1998, pp. 37-40, and May 1998, pp. 49-52.)

Louisiana legislators earlier this year passed a law requiring all organs donated in the state to be used by patients within the state, if possible. The proposed federal policy would supersede the state law.