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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Jun;28(6):1610-21. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gft079.

International survey of nephrologists' perceptions and attitudes about rewards and compensations for kidney donation.

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Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Hershey, PA, USA.



Payment for organ donation, whether in the form of incentives, rewards or compensation is highly debated and has been denounced by many professional and legislative bodies. Despite the passionate discussion in the literature, there is very limited data on attitudes and perceptions of physicians about providing rewards or compensation to organ donors. We investigated the relationship between demographic and practice characteristics of nephrologists and their perceptions and attitudes about rewards and compensations for organ donation.


Using a web-based survey, we explored the views of nephrologists around the world about rewards and compensations for kidney donation. The relationship between attitudes and demographic characteristics of 1280 nephrologists from 74 countries was examined by univariate and multivariable analyses.


Seventy-five percent agreed with donor health insurance, 26% favored direct financial compensation and 31% agreed with financial rewards for unrelated donors. Sixty-six percent believed that rewards will lead to increased donation. Seventy-three percent indicated that rewards will lead to exploitation of the poor and 78% agreed with legislation prohibiting organ sales. Thirty-seven percent believed that rewards will negatively impact deceased-donor transplantation. Nephrologists from India/Pakistan and the Middle East had more favorable views about rewards, while respondents from Latin America and Europe, older than 50, female nephrologists and those practicing in rural areas had less favorable views.


We conclude that a minority of nephrologists favor rewards for donation, many agree with some compensation and a considerable majority favor donor health insurance. Perceptions of nephrologists about rewards and compensation are influenced by age, sex, urban versus rural location and geographic region of practice.


donor; incentive; questionnaire; renal; survey; transplantation

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