Commodifying Life? A Pilot Study of Opinions Regarding Financial Incentives for Organ Donation
Evans, John H.
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2003 December; 28(6): 1003-1032
In recent years many policy proposals have been put forward to create financial incentives to encourage families to allow the harvesting of organs from their deceased relatives. While research has focused on whether these policies would actually increase the supply of organs, no research has focused on testing the ethical concerns about such policies. This article presents the findings of a pilot study conducted to determine whether people think that families should end life support of a family member in order to harvest organs if various incentive policies are in place. While the findings do not suggest a direct effect of these inducements, they do indicate that the amount of money received from organ donation is a consideration in making the decision whether to end life support. The implications of this finding for ethical debates and health policy are reviewed.
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