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Am J Transplant. 2009 Sep;9(9):2172-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2009.02741.x. Epub 2009 Jul 16.

Stimulus for organ donation: a survey of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons membership.

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1
The Transplant Center and Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. jrrodrig@bidmc.harvard.edu

Abstract

Federal legislation has been proposed to modify the National Organ Transplant Act in a way that would permit government-regulated strategies, including financial incentives, to be implemented and evaluated. The Council and Ethics Committee of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons conducted a brief web-based survey of its members' (n = 449, 41.6% response rate) views on acceptable or unacceptable strategies to increase organ donation. The majority of the membership supports reimbursement for funeral expenses, an income tax credit on the final return of a deceased donor and an income tax credit for registering as an organ donor as strategies for increasing deceased donation. Payment for lost wages, guaranteed health insurance and an income tax credit are strategies most strongly supported by the membership to increase living donation. For both deceased and living donation, the membership is mostly opposed to cash payments to donors, their estates or to next-of-kin. There is strong support for a government-regulated trial to evaluate the potential benefits and harms of financial incentives for both deceased and living donation. Overall, there is strong support within the ASTS membership for changes to NOTA that would permit the implementation and careful evaluation of indirect, government-regulated strategies to increase organ donation.

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