May 17, 2014

Getting More Organs for Transplantation

From a paper by, Judd Kessler and Alvin E. Roth:
Singapore and, more recently, Israel have introduced allocation schemes that provide priority on organ donor waiting lists to individuals who have previously registered as donors. Since organ donor waiting lists can often be quite long (e.g. the average wait time on the list for a kidney in the U.S. is over 4 years, OPTN) and receiving an organ for transplant sooner is usually preferable to the alternative (e.g. remaining on dialysis), receiving priority on a waiting lists if an individual ever needs an organ can be an actionable incentive to register.
However the Israel priority system has a loophole because, still, a person next in kin has to approve the donation - people can get priority access and ending up not donating. The experimental evidence is not very positive. Actually the system can reduce donations.

In general the authors explain how hard it is to find a pragmatic solution.  

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