Last year, there were 72 kidney transplants from living donors. If fully compensating donors’ lost earnings enabled even only three more people to make that gift, the government would not lose any money from the increased compensation: it would save as much in dialysis costs as it would provide in compensation. Every additional donation enabled after that would save the government over a hundred thousand dollars.
A good policy.
One move that could help encourage donation while costing the government nothing would be the adoption of Israel’s priority system for live organ donors. Why does this matter? If you donate a kidney, there is always a small risk that you could, sometime down the line, regret your decision if your remaining kidney failed.
Those risks are small – the vast majority of living donors surveyed in the international literature are glad that they donated and would recommend it to others. But those lingering worries can make people hesitant to become donors.
Israel helped to solve that problem when its government provided live organ donors a guarantee that, should those donors ever need a transplant, they would not be at the back of a long queue.
Every living kidney donor has already made the queue one place shorter for everyone. Making sure those donors have a decent spot in the queue should they need a transplant encourages donation and helps makes the queue shorter. And it’s fair. The Select Committee should consider taking this extra step.
I agree donors should automatically go to the head of the queue.