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Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2009 Apr;14(2):129-33. doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e32832917b3.

Cash, rewards, and benefits in organ transplantation: an open letter to Senator Arlen Specter.

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  • 1David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90096-1689, USA.



To consider proposals to use financial incentives for organ donors that have become a subject of intense controversy in both lay and medical press (in contradistinction to the removal of financial disincentives, which is essentially noncontroversial although typically not practiced).


In a concerned response to the shortage of organs the office of Senator Specter of Pennsylvania has been the source of a proposal to amend the 1984 United States National Organ Transplant Act, which has been interpreted to prohibit such incentives. The proposal would permit various forms of financial incentives for donation to no longer be prohibited.


The amendment would have unintentional negative consequences that could undermine, rather than strengthen, the national and international organ transplant endeavor. These concerns are considered in my personal correspondence to Senator Specter's office on which the text is based.

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