The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 29–38 | Cite as

The impact of presumed consent laws and institutions on deceased organ donation

  • Fırat BilgelEmail author
Original Paper


This article purports to advance the literature on the impact of presumed consent laws on deceased donation rates by examining the interactions between a presumed consent legal regime and other customs and institutions, using data on health expenditure, death rates caused by cerebro vascular diseases, motor vehicle accidents and homicides, legislation, legal systems, family consent, civil rights and liberties and donor registry systems, for 24 countries over a 14-year period. Countries in which presumed consent is enacted exhibit significantly higher donation rates only if family consent is routinely sought and a combined registry is maintained or neither practice is administered. Otherwise, presumed consent legislation does not have a sizeable impact on deceased donation rates.


Deceased organ donation Legislative defaults Role of institutions Role of the family Fixed effects vector decomposition 

JEL Classification

I18 K32 



I would like to thank Pavel Brezovsky (The Czech Transplantations Coordinating Center), Gregorio Garrido Cantarero (Organización Nacional de Trasplantes, Spain), Claudia Ferraro (Centro Nazionale Trapianti, Italy), Danica Avsec Letonja (Slovenija Transplant), Dagmar Vernet (Swisstransplant), Tamar Ashkenazi (Israel Ministry of Health), Bjørn Ursin Knudsen (The Danish National Board of Health), Colin White (The Irish Kidney Association), Phil Pocock (UK Transplant), Hendrik van Leiden (Dutch Transplant Foundation), Beverley Trinkle (United Network of Organ Sharing, US), Frank Ivis (Canadian Institute for Health Information), Susanne Venhaus (Deutsche Stiftung Organtransplantation), Daniel Holm and Charlotte Möller (The Swedish Council for organ and tissue donations), Annie Susanne Sønder and Bjørn Lien and Niels Grunnet (Scandiatransplant), Lauri Kyllönen (Helsinki University Hospital, Finland) and Anna Pszenny (Poltransplant, Poland) for providing valuable information on national donor registry systems and family consent practices.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Rotterdam Institute of Law and EconomicsErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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