Do incentives matter? Providing benefits to families of organ donors.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Whether the number of organs available for transplant would be positively or negatively affected by providing benefits to families of organ donors has been debated by policymakers, ethicists and the transplant community at large. We designed a telephone survey to measure public opinion regarding the use of benefits in general and of five types in particular: funeral benefits, charitable contributions, travel/lodging expenses, direct payments and medical expenses. Of the 971 adults who completed the survey (response rate = 69%), all were from Pennsylvania households, 45.6% were registered organ donors, and 51.7% were nonwhite. Although 59% of respondents favored the general idea of incentives, support for specific incentives ranged from 53% (direct payment) to 84% (medical expenses). Among those registered as donors, more nonwhites than whites supported funeral benefits (88% vs. 81%; p = 0.038), direct payment (63% vs. 41%; p < 0.001) and medical expenses (92% vs. 84%; p = 0.013). Among those not registered as donors, more nonwhites supported direct payment (64% vs. 46%; p = 0.001). Most respondents believed that benefits would not influence their own behavior concerning donation but would influence the behavior of others. While benefits appear to be favored, their true impact can only be assessed through pilot programs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bryce, CL; Siminoff, LA; Ubel, PA; Nathan, H; Caplan, A; Arnold, RM

Published Date

  • December 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 2999 - 3008

PubMed ID

  • 16303016

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1600-6143

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1600-6135

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2005.01106.x


  • eng