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04/19/2010

Could There EVER Be An Okay Way to Pay for Body Parts?

The Nuffield Council is really scratching its head on that one–is money the only way to get people to give up parts of their bodies?

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Would payment for funeral expenses be okay to increase the rate of cadaveric organ donation?

What about upping the ante for getting men to spill their seed or to be able to pay women to undergo hormone injections to donate those precious ova?

Well, when all else fails in the UK, the Council has decided to consult the public–an idea rarely (if ever) tried here in the US. What–you mean the public could have some novel ideas about what would be morally acceptable?

Another idea Nuffield has put forth is the idea that those who have stated a preference for organ donation would jump the queue for transplants and other life saving treatments during their life. Such preferential treatment for those who plan to “give the gift of life” after their death is rather interesting.

How far will we go (or really how desperate are we) to increase the number of organs (or other materials) donated in the UK? Clearly pretty far. We’ll see whether Nuffield’s provocative proposals withstand public scrutiny or whether the public comes up with any novel ideas of its own.

Summer Johnson, PhD

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