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United States starts to consider paying organ donors

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 23 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:446
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. Omaha, Nebraska

    The United States is moving closer to allowing payment for organ donation. Such payment has been outlawed since 1984, when Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act, banning the sale of kidneys from living donors to organ brokers.

    The 1984 act recognised only altruism as a motivation for organ donation. But altruism alone has not increased the pool of organ donors, leading to a shift in thinking. The ethical sea change now holds that it may be more unethical to fail to explore new ways of procuring organs and to make use of available organs than to proscribe their sale.

    At its interim meeting in December 2001, the American Medical Association's Council for Ethical and …

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