Resolution on Organ Donation

The following resolution was proposed by the Research and Development Committee, and was approved by the Board of Directors on 23 June 1995:

WHEREAS recent advances in technology have increased both the success rate of organ transplantation, and the need for such services; and

WHEREAS, a serious organ donor shortage exists, such that in 1994, estimates were that up to 3000 people in the United States died awaiting an organ transplant; and,

WHEREAS, there are serious ethical concerns regarding whether there is equal access to the scarce supply of donor organs; and,

WHEREAS, the alternative to human organ transplantation, xenotransplantation, is controversial both scientifically and ethically; and,

WHEREAS, the existing organ donor shortage has also had an impact on the availability of human tissue for scientific research, necessitating use of nonhuman primate or nonprimate tissue instead;

RESOLVED, that the American Society of Primatologists strongly encourages its members to become organ donors, either through the mechanism of driver's license renewal, or through signing an organ donor card (available through the United Network for Organ Sharing, 1-800-24-DONOR; or E-mail to

Resources and references:

  • Informational brochure, "It's a Miracle: Facts about organ and tissue donation". United Network for Organ Sharing, Richmond, VA. 1-800-24-DONOR.

  • Nowak, R., 1994. Animal organ transplants raise ethical issues. Science, 266:1149.

  • Nowak, R., 1994. Xenotransplants set to resume. Science, 266:1148-1151.

  • Holloway, M., 1994. Frequently asked questions -- 12/20/94. Available via ftp from, under pub/usenet/bit.listserv.transplant.