Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Israeli organ donation card--gaming the new priority system

Here's the new Israeli organ donation card:

The details they ask for are:
first name, last name, id number, street, city, zip code, year of birth, phone number, alt. phone number.

Then in red:
With the hope that I may be of help to another, I hereby order and donate after my death:
() Any organ of my body that another my find of use to save his/her life.
() Kidney () Liver () Cornea () Heart () Skin () Lungs () Bones () Pancreas
[] As long as a clergyman chosen by my family will approve the donation after my death.

* My donation is for transplant only
* Only above age 18

Date ________________      Signature _________________

Notice the last choice, specifying that the donation may be contingent on the decision of a "clergyman chosen by my family."

To be understood this choice has to be viewed in connection with the new Israeli legislation that gives priority for allocating organs to those who are registered donors. There was a fight about whether to include the "clergyman clause" on the donor card. I blogged about that fight here, the idea being that it might give priority to get an organ if they needed one to some people who had signed the donor card without intending to actually become donors even if they died in a way that otherwise made them eligible:

""Health officials suspect that the [stipulation about a clergyman] is part of an effort by religious groups to bypass the system. In effect, people who do not genuinely intend to donate organs would receive preferential treatment while on the waiting list for a transplant. Their religious patron would then veto the organ donation if the person dies."

HT: Rann Smorodinsky and Assaf Romm

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