Should We Compensate Organ Donors?

Over 100,000 Americans are currently on a waiting list for an organ donation, but the number of living and dead donors this year will not remotely approach that number. As a result, 18 people die every day while on a waiting list. Sally Satel, a physician and organ donation recipient, has argued that we will only solve this problem if we begin compensating organ donors. Bioethicist David Magnus in contrast believes that incentivization would risk creating a morally suspect seller’s market in organs. These two scholars were joined by Tom Mone, a national leader in organ transplantation, at a fascinating health policy forum that I had the privilege to facilitate recently at Stanford Medical School. We’ve been doing these health policy fora for five years now, and this was one of the most engaging discussions:

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. He served as a senior policy advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 2009 to 2010.