A fair exchange: why living kidney donors in England should be financially compensated
Rodger, D. and Venter, B. (2023). A fair exchange: why living kidney donors in England should be financially compensated. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11019-023-10171-x
|Rodger, D. and Venter, B.
Every year, hundreds of patients in England die whilst waiting for a kidney transplant, and this is evidence that the current system of altruistic-based donation is not sufficient to address the shortage of kidneys available for transplant. To address this problem, we propose a monopsony system whereby kidney donors can opt-in to receive financial compensation, whilst still preserving the right of individuals to donate without receiving any compensation. A monopsony system describes a market structure where there is only one ‘buyer’—in this case the National Health Service. By doing so, several hundred lives could be saved each year in England, wait times for a kidney transplant could be significantly reduced, and it would lessen the burden on dialysis services. Furthermore, compensation would help alleviate the common disincentives to living kidney donation, such as its potential associated health and psychological costs, and it would also help to increase awareness of living kidney donation. The proposed system would also result in significant cost savings that could then be redirected towards preventing kidney disease and reducing health disparities. While concerns about exploitation, coercion, and the ‘crowding out’ of altruistic donors exist, we believe that careful implementation can mitigate these issues. Therefore, we recommend piloting financial compensation for living kidney donors at a transplant centre in England.
|Transplantation; organ donation; kidney; renal transplant; compensation; autonomy; altruism; coercion; exploitation
|Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|Web address (URL)
|24 Aug 2023
|Publication process dates
|04 Aug 2023
|30 Aug 2023
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