Monday, September 26, 2016

The effects of Israel's new organ transplantation law on family consent for deceased donation

Deceased donor organs are a scarce resource with the property that how they are allocated may influence their scarcity, by influencing the decisions of potential donors and their families.  Recent changes in Israeli law give us a window on this...
Incentivizing Authorization for Deceased Organ Donation With Organ Allocation Priority: The First 5 Years
by A. Stoler, J. B. Kessler, T. Ashkenazi, A. E. Roth, J. Lavee

American Journal of Transplantation, Volume 16, Issue 9, September 2016
Pages 2639–2645


The allocation system of donor organs for transplantation may affect their scarcity. In 2008, Israel's Parliament passed the Organ Transplantation Law, which grants priority on waiting lists for transplants to candidates who are first-degree relatives of deceased organ donors or who previously registered as organ donors themselves. Several public campaigns have advertised the existence of the law since November 2010. We evaluated the effect of the law using all deceased donation requests made in Israel during the period 1998–2015. We use logistic regression to compare the authorization rates of the donors’ next of kin in the periods before (1998–2010) and after (2011–2015) the public was made aware of the law. The authorization rate for donation in the period after awareness was substantially higher (55.1% vs. 45.0%, odds ratio [OR] 1.43, p = 0.0003) and reached an all-time high rate of 60.2% in 2015. This increase was mainly due to an increase in the authorization rate of next of kin of unregistered donors (51.1% vs. 42.2%). We also found that the likelihood of next-of-kin authorization for donation was approximately twice as high when the deceased relative was a registered donor rather than unregistered (89.4% vs. 44.6%, OR 14.27, p < 0.0001). We concluded that the priority law is associated with an increased authorization rate for organ donation.

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