Rule change for organ transplants sets off dispute

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A pending change in the distribution of organs donated for transplant has touched off a dispute between the leading transplant center in Memphis and a nonprofit group that finds donors of kidneys, livers and pancreases.

The UT-Memphis Transplant Institute and the Mid-South Transplant Foundation are at odds over a federal decision governing how organs are shared.

Under new rules, Memphis would move from a donor service area covering all of Tennessee to a less populous area covering portions of West Tennessee, East Arkansas and North Mississippi.

Methodist University Hospital CEO Kevin Spiegel told The Commercial Appeal the foundation should merge with a similar organization in Nashville to create a larger donor base.

Foundation executive director Kim Van Frank said Memphis transplant patients will not be at a disadvantage

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