Ethical and practical issues relating to liver allocation have been discussed in many countries. Several governments, including the United States, have attempted over the past few years to impose new legislation, which has resulted in virulent debates among individual centers, organ procurement agencies, states, and various groups of interest. This report discusses the current ongoing legislative process in Switzerland. In 1999, the people of Switzerland voted to develop transplant legislation. This reflected the need to regulate poorly defined practices to adapt to the rapid progress within the field of transplantation. The main issue facing the Swiss transplant community is whether new legislation will allow medical evolution in organ allocation criteria without creating regulations that may become outdated with time. In addition, public debate has been shown to have a negative impact on organ donation, thus emphasizing an ever-present present in cadaveric allografts. This article discusses these issues within the context of liver transplantation in Switzerland and also raises the uniform ethical and practical constraints placed on the medical transplant community in the face of an organ shortage.
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