Exploring Advantages in the Waiting List for Organ Donations

2017 SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering

Part of MS135 Expanding Computing Science Research through Broader Engagement – Part II of II

 Abstract. The waiting list for organ transplants is a complex system that affects the lives of thousands of Americans. The current policies in the United States allow patients to register at multiple Donor Service Areas (DSAs) provided they have physician approval and can cover the costs of any additional testing through insurance or personal means. This practice gives rise to ethical concerns, especially among those who believe it allows the wealthy to take unfair advantage of the system. We develop an agent-based, discrete event model that simulates the practice of multiple listings in transplant waiting list queues to explore the effects on the overall transplant system. Our analysis shows that although there are no major impacts at the national or global level, there are potential consequences at the local DSA level depending on the heterogeneity of the DSAs involved.


  • Christine Harvey, MITRE Corporation, USA, ceharvey@mitre.org