The history of federal policy toward end-stage renal disease is considered in the years from 1960, when hemodialysis and kidney transplantation emerged as treatments for permanent kidney failure, through the Social Security Amendments of 1972 and the "kidney amendment" (Sec. 2991), to the imminent issuance of a final rule implementing changes in reimbursement policy required by legislation enacted in 1978 and 1981. This Note interprets this history in light of the "tragic choice" dilemma of saving lives vs. conserving resources.
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