Halachic Organ donor Society, P.O. box 693, New York, NY 10108-0693, Phone: 212-213-5087, Email: admin@hods.org

Why We Should Develop a Regulated System of Kidney Sales: A Call for Action!

Continuing the discussion for a regulated kidney sales system, Dr. Arthur Matas (Professor of Surgery at University of Minnesota) outlines what the system and its oversights would look like once the 1984 Congressional Ban on organ incentives was lifted. Working within the existing government-regulated organ donor networks, Dr. Matas proposes that regionalized organ procurement organizations (OPOs) would evaluate potential kidney donors, submit the evaluation for regional crossmatch according to the national registry (UNOS) for a matching score, and then offer the organ to the highest ranking candidate in the registry. Upon acceptance, a detailed donor evaluation would be sent to the center. All bills for donor evaluation, surgery, and follow-up would be sent to the OPO, which would then bill the center for its services. Inherent in this system would be certain incentives for the donor. One proposal would offer a fixed sum, term life insurance, long-term health insurance, travel expense and time out of work reimbursements, and/or a tax deduction. Incentives have often been thought of as the morally inferior perspective, though Matas argues, “the moral high ground is to eliminate the ban on financial incentives so that we can increase the number of transplants, significantly decrease or eliminate wait-list deaths, and improve the overall survival rate and quality of life for patients with ESRD [end stage renal disease].” For earlier entries by the same author, see “The Case for Living Kidney Sales: Rationale, Objections, and Concerns.”

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