Organ Donation In The United States

2204 Words 9 Pages
In the United States more people have died on the organ transplant list waiting for an organ then in World War I, II, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan combined (Humphreys). As of 2015 there were 120,000 people on the organ transplant list. The United States is in need of organ donors, About 21 people die everyday off of the organ transplant list. As of 2015 there were only 15,000 donors in the United States. If the US could increase their number of donors they could save more lives, one organ donor can help save up to eight lives (Aleccia). Some ideas the US have explored are incentives for organ donors, but there are fears of them turning into a black market situation. A black market situation would include a free sale of all organs for …show more content…
Montana and Alaska both have organ donor registration percentages above 80 percent, although states like New York have percentages below twenty percent. The US is not the only country having organ donation issues, the United Kingdom has less than one third of citizens registered for organ donation although ninety percent of citizens say they support organ donation. The University of Geneva conducted a study on the psychological and social reason for lack of organ donation, it was found that people do not donate do to “mistrust in the medical field” and “lack of understanding about brain death”. Mistrust in the medical field can come from many things such as past experiences. Brian Quick an associate professor of communication at the University of Illinois conducted a study that shows more than half of people have gotten information about organ donation from TV. One TV program that was found to cause medical mistrust was Greys Anatomy, Quick says “We found that heavy viewers of the show saw Grey’s Anatomy as realistic, meaning that they felt the images and the stories were realistic. And the more realistic they saw these stories, the more likely they were to buy into medical mistrust” (Wen). There are many incentives the US can implement to help boost organ donation percentages, one incentive is payment for organ …show more content…
Braden Manns an associate professor and clinical professor in nephrology at the University of Calgary found that by paying living organ donors 10,000 dollars it could boost donor percentages. It may only boost percentages by 5 percent but Manns says, “We need to figure out a way to solve that problem. We shouldn’t throw out, out of hand, solutions that could increase donations”. Manns team found that by paying donors 10,000 dollars it could save patients 340 dollars compared to cost of ongoing dialysis. The boost in donations could also boost life expectancy by .11 QALY, which is a measure of the quality and length of life. The money for the organs would come from an independent party, Manns suggests the OPTN, which is the Organ Procurement Transplantation Network. The OPTN is a branch of the US Department of Health & Human Services. The US enacted the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 to prohibit the sale of organs, the Senate said, “human body parts should not be viewed as commodities”. Two University of Pennsylvania researchers, Dr. Peter Reese and medical student Matthew Allen believe that now “the time is ripe” to explore the real world impacts of paying organ donors, Reese said “We really don’t know how big the opportunities are here and we really don’t know the risks”. Paying for organs are not the only incentives being explored, incentives such as tax breaks and health care are also incentives being offered

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