Rambam Forum

Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Incentives to Increase the Rate of Organ Donations from the Living: A Moral Exploration

Michael Y. Barilan


This paper examines the morality of schemes of payment to live donors/sellers of organs for transplantation. Following empirical and historical evidence it is argued that consent to sell organs is substantially different from consent to ordinary business transactions and that legalization of exchanges of organs with financial benefits deviates significantly from the scope of liberal toleration and human rights. Although altruistic giving is commendable, it is immoral for society to benefit from them without conferring to the donors benefits such as health and nursing insurance for life. Non-alienable and non-fungible benefits of this kind are moral as incentives to organ donation/giving

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2011;2(2):e0050