A specific process must be followed for someone to be listed as a candidate for transplantation.
First, if a patient's personal physician believes that a transplant is necessary, that doctor will refer the patient to a specialist in a transplant program. Under the direction of the specialist, the patient completes several medical tests and evaluations.
After that work is completed, the transplant center determines whether the patient does, indeed, need a transplant and is a good candidate, based on medical factors and whether a transplant is a practical option for an individual patient.
If so, the transplant center lists the patient with the United Network for Organ Sharing, the national center that coordinates all transplant centers nationwide. A determination is made at that time regarding how severe the patient's condition is and where the patient should be placed on the list.