The IUP Journal of Law Review
Financial Incentives for Organ Donation: The Case for Compensating Organ Donors

Article Details
Pub. Date : Apr, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Law Review
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IUPLR40420
Author Name : Subhash Chandra Singh
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Law
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 18



Current organ procurement and transplantation law and policy in India have failed to alleviate the organ shortfall. The result is that thousands of individuals are left to wait patiently for death to arrive. The failure of our current laws to meet the ever-increasing organ demand calls for aggressive exploration of alternative means of procurement, including financial incentives to living and deceased organ donors. Our lawmakers must realize that organ trafficking and illegal payments will continue as long as the demand exceeds the supply. A complete prohibition of the price mechanism in the free market negatively impacts the ability to harvest organs and transfer them to those in need. With demand far outpacing supply, it is time to introduce financial motivators into the current system to garner additional organs and alleviate the pain being suffered by so many. The paper addresses the advantages and disadvantages of markets for human organs, and explores the ways in which such markets might be organized and regulated.


Organ transplantation has become a worldwide practice and has saved many thousands of lives. It has also improved the quality of life of countless other persons. A feature of organ transplantation since its commencement has been the shortage of available organs. Supply has never satisfied demand, and this has led to the continuous development in many countries of procedures and systems to increase supply. Rational argument can be made to the effect that shortage has led to the rise of commercial traffic in human organs, particularly from living donors who are unrelated to recipients. There is clear evidence of such traffic in recent years, and fear has arisen of the possibility of related traffic in human beings. Organ trade in India, like other social problems, is a societal issue. It relates to the exploitation of the poverty-stricken people by alluring them with financial gains that at times can be large and can meet their immediate short-term financial needs. Unlike other similar exploitative social situations, organ donation requires an invasive surgical procedure that has both physical and psychological implications. For many, making organs a commodity is fraught with dangers and erodes social, moral and ethical values and is not an alternative that can be acceptable to overcome the problem of organ shortage in a civilized society.

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