When Altruism Isn't Enough: The Case for Compensating Kidney Donors

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Sally L. Satel
Aei Press,Nbn, 2008 - Health & Fitness - 228 pages
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America faces a desperate organ shortage. Today, more than 78,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant; only one in four will receive one this year, while twelve die each day waiting for help. Not surprisingly, many patients are driven to desperate measures to circumvent the eight-year waiting list'Č ;renting billboards, advertising in newsletters, or even purchasing an organ on the global black market. Altruism is an admirable but clearly insufficient motivation for would-be donors. What can be done to solve the kidney crisis? Reward organ donors for their remarkable gifts. Noncash benefits to people who donate to a desperate stranger will motivate others to do the same, increase the national supply of kidneys, and reduce needless death and suffering. When Altruism Isn't Enough: The Case for Compensating Kidney Donors explores the key ethical, theoretical, and practical concerns of a government-regulated donor compensation program. It is the first book to describe how such a system could be designed to be ethically permissible, economically justifiable, and pragmatically achievable. Altruism is a beautiful virtue, but relying on it as the sole impetus for organ donation ensures that thousands of people will continue to die each year while waiting for kidney transplants

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About the author (2008)

Satel is a psychiatrist and lecturer at Yale University School of Medicine.

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