PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The organ shortage is the major problem in kidney transplantation today. Despite aggressive organ procurement efforts, the supply of donated kidneys, living and deceased, has not matched the growing demand; as a consequence, more and more qualified candidates are suffering on dialysis and then dying before being transplanted. Herein, we provide justification for a regulated system of compensation for donation. RECENT FINDINGS: The main argument in favor of compensation is simple-financial incentives will increase donation, so fewer transplant candidates will suffer and die while waiting. In addition, development of a regulated system of compensation is the most effective means of crippling the core economic support for transplant tourism. Because dialysis is so much more expensive than a transplant, compensated donation could be cost-neutral to the healthcare system. Importantly, opinion polls suggest that the public would support compensation. As uncompensated kidney donation is widely accepted, persuasive arguments against compensation must explain why such a system would be morally distinguishable from uncompensated donation. SUMMARY: We suggest that the potential advantages of a regulated system of compensation for donation far outweigh any potential disadvantages. It is time to advocate for a change in the law so that trials can be done.
- Living donor