Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Public attitudes on compensation for donors

Poll: Americans Show Support For Compensation Of Organ Donors

"Federal law bans payments for organs. But given the need, we wondered what Americans thought about compensation for three kinds of donations that can be made while people are alive: kidneys, bone marrow and a portion of liver big enough to help someone whose liver is failing.

"So we asked 3,000 adults across the country as part of the NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll, and here's what they told us.
  "If compensation took the form of credits for health care needs, about 60 percent of Americans would support it. Tax credits and tuition reimbursement were viewed favorably by 46 percent and 42 percent, respectively. Cash for organs was seen as OK by 41 percent of respondents.

"Among people who said some form of compensation was acceptable, 72 percent said it should come from health insurers, followed by private charities at 62 percent and the federal government at 44 percent.
"For all forms of compensation, rates of support tended to fall among older respondents.

"There's been longstanding resistance to compensating donors financially in this country. There are concerns about exploitation and also worries that even small amounts of compensation would undercut a system that depends on altruism."

HT: Steve Leider (and see Leider, Stephen and Alvin E. Roth, “Kidneys for sale: Who disapproves, and why?” American Journal of Transplantation, 10 (May), 2010, 1221-1227.)

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