Donor compensation: an ethical imperative!

Transplant Proc. Jan-Feb 2010;42(1):124-5. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2009.12.041.


The number of living organ donors is increasing worldwide, but donor needs are widely neglected in support of anticommodification policies. This article argues that the warrant of donor autonomy during the decision process to donate is only one requirement of adequate donor care. Another is the donor's protection against the systematic and institutional exploitation of his altruistic dispositions. People with the disposition to support those, who are in desperate need, with a nonrenewable part of their own body, despite a small but unavoidable risk of death or health impairment, do not deserve to be additionally burdened with further disincentives, such as financial risks and uncompensated costs of donation. And although the borderline between a morally required disincentive removal and a more controversial net incentive to boost donation might be vague and open to discussion, to disadvantage living donors by design constitutes a serious barrier to the fairness of living organ donation-a barrier that should be removed.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Compensation and Redress / ethics*
  • Compensation and Redress / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Germany
  • Hepatectomy / economics
  • Hepatectomy / ethics
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Living Donors / statistics & numerical data
  • Nephrectomy / economics
  • Nephrectomy / ethics
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / economics*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Waiting Lists