By Zoe Martina Siegel

According to the Global Industry Analysts (GIA), the number of organ transplant procedures performed globally is projected to reach 148,00 by the year 2020 for a number of reasons, including an aging population and the growing number of terminally ill patients.

Medical and technological advancements have led to organ transplants becoming the preferred treatment for many chronic diseases and have drastically increased the survival rate of terminally ill patients. Organ transplants save many lives, and tissue transplants have radically increased many patients’ quality of life.

The organ and tissue transplant industry, however, relies on altruism and voluntary philanthropy for its continued success. Recent awareness programs have increased the number of living donors as well as the number of cadaveric donations.

However, projections indicate that demand will soon drastically outrun supply, and the costs associated with transplant surgeries are expected to rise. The current organ shortage already fuels a flourishing international black market.

One possible – though ethically controversial – solution to alleviating this gap seeks to include Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD) patients as potential donors.

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