In defense of a regulated system of compensation for living donation

Arthur J Matas, Benjamin Hippen, Sally Satel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Compensation
  • Kidney
  • Living donor

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'In defense of a regulated system of compensation for living donation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this