How to get more organ donors

In the US alone, there are 103,233 people on the national transplant waiting list and 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant. This includes organs that are donated in death, but also those than can be donated by living donors, like kidneys.

Because paying organ donors is generally off-limits, we need other ways to make organ donation more likely. This article by Hausenloy & McClements looks at what’s been tried and what’s working today. For example, we should do more to defray the costs for living donors.

Broadly defined – ​including medical costs, lost wages, and the discomfort associated with ​donation – the costs facing a living kidney donor add up to around $40,000. If these disincentives were reduced to zero, the same study estimates kidney donations would increase by 11,500 a year in the US, cutting the organ donation waiting list in half and leading to a net welfare gain of $13.7 billion and net savings for taxpayers of $1.3 billion, coming from a $1.1 million gross welfare gain per transplant via longer life expectancy and removing dialysis costs less the cost of transplantation and incentives, using data from smaller-scale schemes in New Zealand, the US, and Israel.

Compensating compassion - Works in Progress


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Written by

Aaron Miller

Aaron Miller

Provo, UT