Paid Living Organ Donations

Table of Contents

Problem Summary

  • Shortage of human organs for transplantation
  • Less organ donors than patients
  • Paid organ donation to attract donors
  • Financial aspects of transplantation
  • Limitations of the National Organ Transplant Act (Delmonico, 2015)
  • Rise of ethical dilemmas

Note: The major problem with organ donation is that there are more patients on the waiting lists than donors. Currently, there are suppositions that a decrease in limitations put by the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 can have a positive effect on the situation. However, this issue involves several ethical dilemmas.

Description of the Dilemmas

  • Cost of donation for donors
  • Risk of devaluation of human life
  • Access to transplantation to the poor
  • Economic coercion of the poor
  • Increase in sales on the black market
  • Challenging quality of organs

Note: Although the donation is free of charge, it is still not cost-free for donors who spend money to travel to hospitals and have to stay away from work. Another economic aspect of paid living organ donations is that they can attract poor individuals and, at the same time, deprive the poor of the opportunity to get transplantation because of its high cost. Moreover, there is a risk of a decrease in the quality of organs and the growth of the black market sales.

The rationale for Paid Living Organ Donations

  • Increase in transplantation organs’ supply
  • Benefits for organ donors
  • Economic attractiveness for hesitating donors
  • Increase in donation among younger citizens
  • Reduction of waiting list deaths
  • Increase in the autonomy of decisions (Kreimer, 2018).

Note: Permission of paid living organ donations is likely to increase the number of donors. Certain economic benefits can attract young people who would hesitate about donation. Consequently, the incidence of waiting list deaths is expected to decrease.

Proposed Resolution

  • Paid living organ donations
  • Strict governmental control of the process
  • Governmental programs for vulnerable populations
  • Control over organs’ quality
  • Control over voluntary decisions
  • Transparency of donation and waiting lists

Note: Paid living organ donations can be permitted in case they are controlled by the government. It will allow monitoring of the quality of organs and limit the development of the black market. Also, transparent waiting lists and donation processes can attract more donors.

The Key Stakeholders and Factors

  • Patients on waiting lists
  • Individuals ready to become donors
  • Family members from both sides
  • Representatives of health care providers
  • Willingness to donate organs
  • The cost of transplantation

Note: The process of transplantation and organ donation involves diverse stakeholders and factors. Thus, the stakeholders include patients, donors, their families as well as health care providers. The major factors of paid living organ donation are the willingness to donate and the cost of transplantation to all the stakeholders.

Ethical Principles Involved

  • Fairness, equity, impartiality, and justice
  • Respect for every individual
  • The principle of beneficence
  • Validity and reliability of evidence
  • Trustworthiness of donor and care provider
  • Informed consent and voluntary consent

Note: Paid living organ donation is an issue that involves diverse ethical principles. Some of them, such as fairness, equity, and justice, are related to the process of donation and transplantation on the whole. The others, such as principles of respect, trustworthiness, and consent, are considered in the context of every individual.

Policy Drivers

  • Cost of transplantation for both sides
  • Quality of organs
  • Access to transplantation for individuals
  • Policies of transplantation centers
  • Economic background of transplantation
  • Governmental attention to the problem (Warren, Gifford, Hong, Merion, & Ojo, 2014).

Note: The policy of paid living organ transplantation depends on the stakeholders involved in the processes of donation and transplantation. Also, it is driven by economic and ethical issues. Finally, government plays a significant role in donation and transplantation as the controlling party.

Ethical Theories

  • Utilitarian or consequence-based theory
  • Deontological or duty-based theory
  • Rights-based ethical theory
  • Altruism as the pillar of organ donation
  • Moral obligations in healthcare
  • Conscious consent to organ donation

Note: Utilitarian theory is applicable to paid living organ donation because it stresses the importance of the consequences of every decision. Deontological theory can be used due to its attention to duties. Finally, the rights-based theory is suitable for the issue under discussion because it involves equal rights for both donors and patients.


Delmonico, F., Martin, D., Domínguez-Gil, B., Muller, E., Jha, V., & Levin, A. et al. (2015). Living and deceased organ donation should be financially neutral acts. American Journal of Transplantation, 15(5), 1187-1191. Web.

Kreimer, S. (2018). Web.

Warren, P., Gifford, K., Hong, B., Merion, R., & Ojo, A. (2014). Development of the National Living Donor Assistance Center: Reducing financial disincentives to living organ donation. Progress in Transplantation, 24(1), 76-81. Web.

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