Altruism and Religion: A New Paradigm for Organ Donation


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.

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Correspondence to Aviad Rabinowich.

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Rabinowich, A., Jotkowitz, A. Altruism and Religion: A New Paradigm for Organ Donation. J Relig Health 57, 360–365 (2018).

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