Heated debates have arisen while attempting to reach a decision if organ and tissue donors, including egg and sperm, should receive increased financial benefits as an incentive to increase the number of donations in the UK. As the law stands now, it is illegal to pay for most types of organs and tissues in the UK.
There are numerous incentive ideas for donors being proposed including financial assistance for funeral expenses, priority status if the donor happens to need an organ transplant later in life, or the payment of more generous expenses and sending “thank you” cards to the donor or his/her family.
The demand for organs as well as sperm and egg donations is on a steady incline. More infertility treatments and procedures are being used which is also calling for more people willing to donate not only their eggs or sperm, but their time too. Presently, the number of people in need of an organ has far exceeded the number of organs available.
Numerous professionals are questioning the morality of increased financial incentives and they claim that encouraging people to donate and put their body at risk may cause people to question their own beliefs and put their body in the hands of science just for some extra cash.
The UK’s goal is to encourage people to donate and discourage people from going overseas to receive fertility treatment or much needed organs such as the kidneys. The council will reach a decision and their findings will be published fall of 2011.
Student Researcher: Carly Thomas
Faculty Supervisor: Elliot Cohen
Indian River State College
Source: “Public to have say on organ donation incentives” BBC News, 20 April 2010