Steve Jobs' Reported Liver Transplant Stirs Debate

But the original MELD score isn't always used to gauge a patient's needs if the disease that's causing the liver failure won't show symptoms in the MELD blood tests. In the rare case of someone with islet cell cancer, for example, the patient would be reviewed by a regional board that would then assign an "artificial" equivalent MELD score, said Cohen.

It's unknown whether Jobs fell into this category and what such a score might have been since he is not releasing his medical records.

Despite the cases of the wealthy benefiting from multiple listings, Cohen said he thinks the MELD system has so far proven the best method for fair organ transplants.

"People are constantly looking at ways to improve upon organ availability," said Cohen. "None of them are proven yet, so they haven't been applied. This system is the best system we have right now. "

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