Tuesday, April 20, 2010

UK may move registered organ donors up the transplant waiting list

How should organ donation rates be increased in the United Kingdom? The Nuffield Council on Bioethics in London is asking the public what they think about various options. Among the options presented is giving priority for transplants to people who sign up to donate their organs when they die.

Ian Cowie writes about possible solutions to the United Kingdom's organ shortage in the Telegraph:
...offering donors priority status in the event that they may need a transplant in future looks like a reasonable compromise which could ease the current problem. NHS reliance on public altruism has failed. When demand vastly exceeds supply it may be time to consider economics as well as ethics.

Adam Smith was among the first to notice that one motivation you can always rely on is self-interest. In his classic The Wealth of Nations he observed: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
Registered organ donors in the United States can get preferred access to donated organs by joining LifeSharers. Registered organ donors in New Zealand can do the same thing. In Israel, if you and your family members get preferred access to donated organs if you sign up to donate your organs after you die.

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