Senin, 26 April 2010

Paying Living Donors for a Kidney

Arguments against paying living donors for a kidney generally focus on two ethical concerns; 1) that payments might induce a potential donor to ignore the risks associated with kidney donation, and 2) that payments might exploit poor people, who would have a greater incentive to donate than wealthier persons.

To test these concerns, a team of researchers polled 342 potential donors in Philadelphia. The study found that potential donors’ perception of the risk of kidney donation is completely unaltered by how much money is offered for their kidney ($0, $10,000, or $100,000). The study also found that although a potential donor’s willingness to donate is influenced by money (more money, more willingness to donate), the effect of money was the same across all income strata. In other words, there was no evidence that payments would either induce donors to ignore risk or specifically exploit poor people.

Based on these data, perhaps payments should be offered to donors on a trial basis. It’s worth knowing whether potential donors’ actual choices would be the same as their hypothetical choices on a survey.

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