How Can We Encourage Organ Donation?

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How Can We Encourage Organ Donation? Thousands of people die each year in the United States alone waiting for organ transplants. In 1997 the United States Department of Health and Human Services reported that 56,716 people were waiting for hearts, lungs, pancreases, and kidneys. By 1998 this number had increased to 64,423 people waiting (Charatan). The list of those people in need of transplants increases almost twenty percent every year while the number of donors increases only ten percent during the same time (United Network for Organ Sharing [UNOS]). This clearly illustrates the growing need for more organ donors. The difficult question is how do we obtain this greatly needed increase of donors? One option that has been introduced recently is the idea of financial compensation for people who donate their organs. However there is considerable controversy over this subject because of ethical questions. The United States needs to look at both sides of the issue and determine whether or not financial compensation is an acceptable incentive for organ donations. Many people support the idea of offering financial incentives for organ donations. These supporters believe that it is ethical because it is based on a concern for the needs of the patient and potentially saving more lives. The fact that donors could gain financially from it should pose no moral controversy because they are simply being compensated for giving a part of themselves. A price could never be put on a human organ, and this financial incentive would not attempt to do this. However, this type of reward would show that the donors are desperately needed and greatly appreciated Offering financial incentives would increase the suppl... ... middle of paper ... ...donation outweigh any advantages it may offer. Possibly after the state of Pennsylvania researches their new program, there will be more insight into this issue. At this time the United States should probably follow the example of Spain. Spain's program would increase the rate of donation without causing an upsetting change in the current system. Works Cited Bosch, Xavier. "Spain Leads World in Organ Donation and Transplantation." The Journal of the American Medical Association. 282.1 (1999): 17. Charatan, Fred. "Pennsylvania Plans to Reward Organ Donation." British Medical Journal. 318.7195 (1999): 1371. United Network for Organ Sharing. UNOS Ethics Committee Payment Subcommittee. Financial Incentives for Organ Donation. 30 June 1993. 24 October 1999. .

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