Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 360–365 | Cite as

Altruism and Religion: A New Paradigm for Organ Donation

  • Aviad RabinowichEmail author
  • Alan Jotkowitz
Impressionistic Reporting


Activity of NGO’s supporting living donor kidney donations can affect the shortage of kidneys. Matnat Chaim is a Jewish orthodox organization active in Israel since 2009. This is a voluntary organization with aims to shorten and eliminate the waiting list for kidneys. Since the beginning of its activity, it has said to play a key role in 379 kidney transplantations. In 2015, out of 174 live donor kidney transplantations that took place in Israel, Matnat Chaim had a key role in 88 of them (50.6%). We found some ethical issues concerning the organization's activity. The donor can restrict his or her donation to specific characteristics of recipient which can result in organs transplanted in a homogeneous group of the population. Another issue is the question of whether nudging people to kidney donation takes place and whether it is valid to do so. We found that Matnat Chaim does a great deal for promotion and intermediation of kidney donations in Israel. This form of promotion can be implemented by other organizations and countries.


Kidney transplantation Motivating living kidney donation Religious-based non-government organization 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School, Faculty of Health SciencesBen Gurion University of the NegevBe′er-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Soroka University Medical CenterBeer-ShevaIsrael

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