Thursday, May 26, 2016

Proposed legislation offers incentives to living organ donors

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has the story
Proposed legislation offers incentives to living organ donors in Pa.

"A Pennsylvania lawmaker plans to introduce legislation this week that would allow pilot programs to give non-cash rewards to people who donate a kidney or part of their liver.

The proposal from U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, includes potential rewards for donors such as health insurance, tax credits, contributions to the donor's favorite charity and tuition reimbursement.

Federal law prohibits buying or selling organs for transplantation, but Cartwright said his proposal aims to address a dire organ shortage while saving the government money.

He estimates that eliminating the nation's bloated organ wait list could save more than $5.5 billion per year in medical costs for people with end-stage renal disease.

Cartwright said it's “a national outrage that 22 people die every day waiting for a transplant.”

“The current system is not working, and the only way to find out what would make it work is to try something new,” Cartwright told the Tribune-Review. “I have support on both sides of the aisle because people understand we need to try something different.”

The congressman emphasized that his plan would not pay donors for their organs but simply provide an incentive to donate. To avoid corruption, an ethics control board would monitor the program, and the rewards would not be transferable to other people, he said.

The legislation also would call for donors to be reimbursed for time off work and travel and costs associated with the surgery, which can be prohibitive."

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