Monash Bioethics Review

, Volume 33, Issue 2–3, pp 91–101 | Cite as

Three proposals to increase Australia’s organ supply

Original Article

Abstract

In 2008 the Australian Government introduced a national reform agenda to increase organ and tissue donation. Australia continues to perform poorly by international standards on measures of organ procurement, however. This paper outlines three proposals to improve donation rates and considers the empirical evidence available for each. A number of ethical objections frequently given to resist such proposals are also addressed. Firstly, it is recommended that Australia implement an ‘opt-out’ system of organ donation. Secondly, the existing veto rules should be changed to better protect the wishes of those who wish to donate. Finally, a numer of incentives should be offered to increase donation rates; these could include incentives of financial value, but also non-financial incentives such as prioritisation for the receipt of organs for previous donors.

Keywords

Ethics of organ procurement Opt-out organ donation Incentives for organ donation Family-veto for organ donation 

References

  1. A Joint Response behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in Wales, The Church in Wales, and the Wales Orthodox Mission. 2013. Proposals for legislation on organ and tissue donation: A Welsh government white paper. http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/documents/s15652/HTOrg30a%20Anscombe%20Bioethics%20Centre%20Annexe.pdf. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  2. Abadie, A., and S. Gay. 2006. The impact of presumed consent legislation on cadaveric organ donation: A cross-country study. Journal of Health Economics 2006(25): 607.Google Scholar
  3. Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry. 2013. Waiting list data. http://www.anzdata.org.au/anzod/v1/waiting_list.html. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  4. Australian Government, Department of Human Services. Australian Organ Donor Register statistics. 2014. http://www.humanservices.gov.au/corporate/statistical-information-and-data/australian-organ-donor-register-statistics/. Accessed 3 Dec 2014.
  5. Australian Government, Organ and Tissue Authority. Performance Report for 2013. 2014. http://www.temp.donatelife.gov.au/media/docs/The_Authority/OTA_2013_Performance_Report.pdf. Accessed 13 May 2014.
  6. Changing, Undis D., and Organ Allocation Will Increase Organ Supply. 2006. DePaul law. Review. 2006(55): 891.Google Scholar
  7. Den Hartogh, G. 2011. Can consent be presumed? Journal of Applied Philosophy 28(3): 303.Google Scholar
  8. DonateLife. 2013a. National Reform Agenda. http://www.donatelife.gov.au/the-authority/national-reform-agenda. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  9. DonateLife. 2013b. The nine measures. http://www.donatelife.gov.au/the-authority/national-reform-agenda-/nine-measures. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  10. DonateLife. 2013c. Supporting paid leave for living organ donors. http://www.donatelife.gov.au/news-and-events/news-and-events/2750-supporting-paid-leave-for-living-organ-donors. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  11. Excell, L., K. Hee, and G. Russ. 2011 Annual report. Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry. 2011, p. 10.Google Scholar
  12. Gómez, M.P., E. Arredondo, G. Páez, and M. Manyalich. 2010. International registry in organ donation and transplantation 2010. Transplant Proceedings 44(6): 1593–1594.Google Scholar
  13. Gruenbaum, B.F., and A. Jotkowtiz. 2010. The practical, moral, and ethical considerations of the New Israeli law for the allocation of donor organs. Transplant Proceedings 2010(42): 4475–4478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Isdale, W., and J. Savulescu. 2015. Three ethical ways to increase organ donation in Australia. https://theconversation.com/three-ethical-ways-to-increase-organ-donation-in-australia-42744. Accessed 11 June 2015.
  15. Harris, J. 2004. On cloning, 34–35. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Lavee, J., and D.W. Brock. 2012. Prioritizing registered donors in organ allocation: An ethical appraisal of the Israeli organ transplant law. Current Opinion in Critical Care. 18(6): 708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues References Committee. 2012. Inquiry into organ donation in Victoria. Parliament of Victoria. Report number: 1, pp. 54, 38.Google Scholar
  18. Moorlock, G., J. Ives, H. Draper. 2013. Altruism in organ donation: an unnecessary requirement? http://www.jme.bmj.com/content/early/2013/03/27/medethics-2012-100528.full. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  19. National Assembly for Wales. Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill. 2013. http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=5178. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  20. Nuffield Council on Bioethics. 2013. Ethics body suggests NHS pays for funerals of organ donors. http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/news/ethics-body-suggests-nhs-pays-funerals-organ-donors. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  21. Partridge, E. 1981. Posthumous interests and posthumous respect. Ethics 1981(91): 259–261.Google Scholar
  22. Radcliffe-Richards, J. 2012. The ethics of transplants. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Rithalia, A., C. McDaid, S. Suekarran, L. Myers, and A. Sowden. 2009. Impact of presumed consent for organ donation on donation rates: A systematic review. BMJ 2009(338): 284–292.Google Scholar
  24. Saunders, B. 2012. Opt-out organ donation without presumptions. Journal of Medical Ethics 338(38): 71.Google Scholar
  25. Siegal, G. 2014. Making the case for directed organ donation to registered donors in Israel. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 3(1): 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sidgwick, H. 1981. The methods of ethics, 7th ed, 382. Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
  27. Singer, P. 1972. Famine, affluence and morality. Philosophy & Public Affairs 1(3): 229.Google Scholar
  28. Tabarrok, A. 2013. Life-saving incentives: Consequences, costs and solutions to the organ shortage. http://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2009/Tabarroklifesaving.html. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.
  29. Thaler, R., and C. Sunstein. 2008. Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  30. Wilkinson, T.M. 2007. Individual and family decisions about organ donation. Journal of Applied Philosophy 24(1): 26–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wilkinson, T.M. 2011. Ethics and the acquisition of organs, 149–151. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wolff, J. 2011. Ethics and public policy: A philosophical inquiry, 5. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. 2013. Policy 3.5: Allocation of kidneys. http://www.optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/PoliciesandBylaws2/policies/pdfs/policy_7.pdf. Accessed 16 Sep 2013; 3.5.11.6.
  34. World Health Organisation. 2013. WHO guiding principles on human cell, tissue and organ transplantation. http://www.who.int/transplantation/Guiding_PrinciplesTransplantation_WHA63.22en.pdf. Accessed 16 Sep 2013.

Copyright information

© Monash University 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Uehiro Centre for Practical EthicsOxford UniversityOxfordUK
  3. 3.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia

Personalised recommendations