Incentives for Organ Donation: Proposed Standards for an Internationally Acceptable System


  • Working Group on Incentives for Living Donation

Arthur J. Matas, University of Minnesota, MN,


Incentives for organ donation, currently prohibited in most countries, may increase donation and save lives. Discussion of incentives has focused on two areas: (1) whether or not there are ethical principles that justify the current prohibition and (2) whether incentives would do more good than harm. We herein address the second concern and propose for discussion standards and guidelines for an acceptable system of incentives for donation. We believe that if systems based on these guidelines were developed, harms would be no greater than those to today's conventional donors. Ultimately, until there are trials of incentives, the question of benefits and harms cannot be satisfactorily answered.