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Should we pay donors to increase the supply of organs for transplantation? No

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a179 (Published 12 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1343
  1. Jeremy Chapman, professor
  1. 1Centre for Transplant and Renal Research, Millennium Institute, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
  1. Jeremy_chapman{at}wsahs.nsw.gov.au

    Paymentfor livingkidney donation is illegal in most countries. Arthur Matas (doi: 10.1136/bmj.a157) believes that legalisation is needed to shorten waiting times, but Jeremy Chapman argues that it will reduce the supply of all organs

    Transplantation is one of the greatest advances in medical therapy in the second half of the 20th century but is threatened by the global daily carnage brought about by paying for organs.1 The race to the lowest cost donor is on, with the Philippines, Pakistan, or China set to lose the most by winning.

    Cost of sale

    Sale of organs is advocated by the rich as a fundamental human freedom, but this right is exclusively exercised by the poor. Solving poverty is unachievable, but if there were no poor people in the Philippines or indentured “workers” in Pakistan sales of their organs would be unlikely to continue.2

    Wealthy people are also placed in jeopardy by legalised organ sales. …

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