Pulse host Maiken Scott and Senior Writer Taunya English spoke about lingering myths surrounding the organ transplant system—and some possible fixes.

Some quick facts:

  • There are different wait lists and somewhat different rules for each kind of organ.
  • The Gift of Life Donor Program coordinates organ transplants for people in the Philadelphia tri-state region.
  • People waiting for a kidney wait the longest. 5,338 people in the Philadelphia region are on the kidney transplant list.
  • The Gift of Life Family House in Philadelphia provides low-cost accommodations for people and family members waiting for a donated organ.
  • While most organs come from a deceased donor, living organ donation is possible for a full kidney or a section of liver or lung.
  • Donor consent is especially low among African Americans. The sign-up rate is 31 percent in Philadelphia where the black population is large. In nearby Montgomery and Chester counties, the rate is nearly twice as high.
  • There have been failed attempts in Pennsylvania and Delaware to switch to an opt-out organ donor system. That system presumes that applicants for a driver's license or state I.D. want to be an organ donor—unless they explicitly decline.