Donation / Procurement of Organs and Tissues
Economics of Health Care
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AbstractKidney transplantation is the most efficacious and cost-effective treatment for end-stage renal disease. However, the treatment's accessibility is limited by a chronic shortage of transplantable kidneys, resulting in the death of numerous patients worldwide as they wait for a kidney to become available. Despite the implementation of various measures the disparity between supply and needs continues to grow. This paper begins with a look at the current treatment options, including various sources of transplantable kidneys, for end-stage renal disease. We propose, in accordance with others, the introduction of compensated kidney donation as a means of addressing the current shortage. We briefly outline some of the advantages of this proposal, and then turn to examine several of the ethical arguments usually marshaled against it in a bid to demonstrate that this proposal indeed passes the ethics test. Using available data of public opinions on compensated donation, we illustrate that public support for such a program would be adequate enough that we can realistically eliminate the transplant waiting list if compensation is introduced. We urge a pragmatic approach going forward; altruism in living kidney donation is important, but altruism only is an unsuccessful doctrine.
Health care analysis : HCA : journal of health philosophy and policy 2010 Mar; 18(1): 85-101