Cash for Organs: Moral Dilemma?

Currently it is illegal for a donor to receive any monetary reimbursement for organ donation. As the word “donation” suggests, the process does not warrant any transactions of funds.

In Canada, a new study has showed that people are warming to the concept of “dollars for donors” and the University of Calgary is looking at whether the promise of money could succeed where so-called “goodness of the heart” donations have failed to increase Canada’s stagnant organ donation rates.

Buying and selling organs and tissues is illegal, and the study enters some murky ethical territory. But Dr. Bradley Mann says that they’re “not talking about buying and selling organs in a hotel room in a shady area of Calgary. What we’re talking about is a third-party regulator that would offer compensation.”

“It’s a difficult subject to broach, but I think we could get over that,” said Manns, who specializes in treating kidney diseases and has seen patients die waiting for a new organ.

A survey found that reimbursement for funeral expenses for deceased donors and tax breaks for living donors were the most acceptable forms of incentives. But only 14% of health professionals support the idea while some find the idea of involving any type of reimbursement a repugnant idea.



2 responses to “Cash for Organs: Moral Dilemma?

  1. I honestly feel as though compensation/reimbursment should be allowed for blood donations, however it should be heavily regulated. The health of the person donating should remain at the same standard it was before the donation, and the money should be payable only to the person donating the organ (not to a third party as this could promote black market organ trading).
    I do honestly feel if it will make waits for organs shorter and save lives, why not introduce a scheme to reward organ donors! We at Give Blood UNSW (link here: think even blood donors should be reimbursed! Even if it is only with a juice box and sandwich!
    Rubie Dickson

  2. There’s just something about paying for an organ donation that just seems wrong to me. Yes it’s saving lives but it’s basically putting price on someone’s life isn’t it? Big moral dilemma! I think it’s a shame that we even have to consider something like that, but it just shows how desperate the situation of organ donation is. In saying that, this campaign is one step towards making people more aware of organ donation – even if it is just talking to family members about their decision. Great work guys!

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