Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

Is it time to pilot paying for organs?

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 12 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:0

Rapid Response:

Titmuss' Gift Relationship

Dear Ms Godlee,

'The Gift Relationship' by Richard Titmuss discussed blood donation in the 70s to counter suggestions for payment for blood shortfalls.

The present debate reads almost similar but curiously we today choose to look away from not only Titmuss' ideology but also logic and content of the whole debate that followed.

The altruism inherent in 'donation' (blood or organ) is one of the basic things a society which regards its NHS as a defining institution, is seen to be valuing.

Such debates need to be held afresh by every generation. But let us look back and keep the lessons learnt the hard way from past to make better solutions today, maximizing social welfare.


Prithwiraj Das

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 June 2008
Prithwiraj Das
MBBS, MSc Int Health Policy