Improving organ retrieval rates: various proposals and their ethical validity

Health Care Anal. 2000;8(3):279-95. doi: 10.1023/A:1009496002775.


The current global shortage of organs has prompted a series of proposals for improving organ retrieval rates. They include preferred recipient status for registered organ donors, payment for organs, presumed consent and required response. This paper examines the tenability of these proposals and points out their shortcomings. Taking the Canadian situation as an example, it argues further that the shortage is exacerbated by unethical and essentially illegal retrieval protocols that flout the law of informed consent. It is suggested that before any redrafting of laws and regulations is undertaken, these protocols should be revised.

MeSH terms

  • Altruism
  • Canada
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Commerce
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Presumed Consent
  • Reimbursement, Incentive
  • Tissue Donors / psychology
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / economics
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / standards*
  • Transplants / supply & distribution