Should We Compensate Organ Donors?

Over 100,000 Americans are currently on a waiting list for an organ donation, but the number of living and dead donors this year will not remotely approach that number. As a result, 18 people die every day while on a waiting list. Sally Satel, a physician and organ donation recipient, has argued that we will only solve this problem if we begin compensating organ donors. Bioethicist David Magnus in contrast believes that incentivization would risk creating a morally suspect seller’s market in organs. These two scholars were joined by Tom Mone, a national leader in organ transplantation, at a fascinating health policy forum that I had the privilege to facilitate recently at Stanford Medical School. We’ve been doing these health policy fora for five years now, and this was one of the most engaging discussions:

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.