Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Organ donation in Germany

Organ donation in Germany is declining, from an already low rate.
 Die WirtschaftsWoche has the story in their February 19 issue:

Die Zahl der Organspenden in Deutschland geht immer stärker zurück. Ökonomen machen dafür auch falsche Anreize verantwortlich. Sie schlagen Modelle vor, um mehr Menschen fürs Spenden zu gewinnen.

Google translate: "This could lead to incentives for organ donation
The number of organ donations in Germany is decreasing more and more. Economists blame it for wrong incentives. They suggest models to get more people to donate."

The article refers in part to this lab experiment investigating giving registered organ donors priority should they need an organ:

Organ donation in the lab: Preferences and votes on the priority rule
by Annika Herr and Hans-Theo Normann
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Volume 131, Part B, November 2016, Pages 139-149

"Abstract: An allocation rule that prioritizes registered donors increases the willingness to register for organ donation, as laboratory experiments show. In public opinion, however, this priority rule faces repugnance. We explore the discrepancy by implementing a vote on the rule in a donation experiment, and we also elicit opinion poll-like views. We find that two-thirds of the participants voted for the priority rule in the experiment. When asked about real-world implementation, participants of the donation experiment were more likely to support the rule than non-participants. We further confirm previous research in that the priority rule increases donation rates. Beyond that, we find medical school students donate more often than participants from other fields."

The newspaper article also quotes German transplant officials as saying that this would be an unethical organ market, and that it would open the door to illegal black markets...

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