Many Support Financial Incentives for Organ Donation

Survey of Canadian public, health professionals, and people affected by kidney disease

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- At least 40 percent of Canadians consider it acceptable to offer financial incentives to encourage kidney donation, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Lianne Barnieh, Ph.D., from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues surveyed 2,004 members of the Canadian public, 339 health professionals, and 268 people with or affected by kidney disease regarding the acceptability of financial incentives for kidney donation.

The researchers found that more than 70 percent of all respondents said that financial incentives were acceptable to increase deceased kidney donation and 40 percent said that financial incentives were acceptable to increase living kidney donation. Monetary payment for living donors was supported by 45 percent of the general public, 14 percent of health professionals, and 27 percent of people with or affected by kidney disease. The most acceptable compensation was coverage of funeral expenses for deceased donors and a tax break for living donors.

"The general public views regulated financial incentives for living and deceased donation to be acceptable," Barnieh and colleagues conclude. "Further, our survey suggests that the public may be more willing to donate while alive for monetary gain, potentially increasing the pool of potential kidney donors, if the public's stated views translate into a behavior change."

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