Reconsidering the Ban on Financial Incentives

  • Norman Fost


Few policies attract wider support than the prohibition of financial incentives to prospective organ donors. In order to challenge this taboo, a preliminary observation on transplantation as a whole is required. This book has been predicated on an implicit assumption that organ transplantation, on the whole, is a good and just activity. That is a necessary condition for proposals to improve the supply of organs in ethically acceptable ways. In this chapter, I argue that financial incentives can be justified and that arguments banning such incentives are faulty. This argument depends on support for the enterprise as a whole: Why else would we want to improve supply? For the purpose of this discussion, I concede this approval but would like to register a few concerns before proceeding.


Financial Incentive Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Routine Health Care Allegheny County Donor Card 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Caplan, A., 1985, Blood, sweat, tears and profits: The ethics of the sale and use of patient derived materials in biomedicine, Clin. Res. 33: 448–451.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Carpenter, C. B., Ettenger, R. B., and Strom, T. B., 1984, “Free-market” approach to organ donation. (Letter.) N. Engl. J. Med. 310:395–396.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Dougherty, C. J., 1986, A proposal for ethical organ donation, Health Affairs 5: 105–110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Drake, A. W., Finkelstein, S. N., and Sapolsky, H. M., 1982, The American Blood Supply, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  5. Editorial, 1984, Kidney brokerage: A glimpse of the future?, Lancet 2: 1081.Google Scholar
  6. Feltner, C. H., 1973, Organ donation: For whose sake?, Ann. Intern. Med. 79: 589–592.Google Scholar
  7. Fellner, C. H., and Marshall, J. R., 1970, Kidney donors—The myth of informed consent, Amer. J. Psychiatry 126: 1245–1251.Google Scholar
  8. Feltner, C. H., and Schwartz, S. H., 1971, Altruism in disrepute: Medical versus public attitudes toward the living organ donor, N. Engl. J. Med. 284: 582–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fost, N. 1983, The new body snatchers: On Scott’s The Body as Property, Am. Bar Fdn. Research J. 3: 718–732.Google Scholar
  10. Fost, N., 1987, Ethical considerations of hospital–physician joint ventures, in: Joint Ventures Beteween Hospitals and Physicians (L. A. Burns and D. M. Mancino, eds.), Dow Jones–Irwin, Homewood, Illinois.Google Scholar
  11. Knowles, J., 1977, Doing Better and Feeling Worse, Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  12. McFall v. Shimp,July 26, 1978, No Gd 78–17711 (Eq. Ct. C. P. Allegheny County, Civ. Div., Pennsylvania). Organ Procurement and Transplantation Act, 1984, No. 98–1127, Oct 2, 1984, 42 USC 274.Google Scholar
  13. Robertson, J. A., and Schulman, J. D., 1987, Pregnancy and prenatal harm to offspring: The case of mothers with PKU, Hastings Ctr Rep. 17 (4): 23–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Schwindt, R., and Vining, A. R., 1986, Proposal for a future delivery market for transplant organs, J. Health Politics, Policy Law 11: 483–500.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Fost
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations