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April 15, 1992

Financial Incentives for Organ Donation: The Perspectives of Health Care Professionals

Author Affiliations

The Partnership for Organ Donation Boston, Mass

JAMA. 1992;267(15):2037-2038. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480150043029

To the Editor.  —The persistent shortage of donor organs for transplantation has lead to novel approaches for increasing the "yield" of potential donors, with the idea of offering financial incentives for organ donation among the most controversial. A proposal for a pilot study in which cash payments would be offered to families considering donation was recently published in JAMA.1The attitudes of those who most often request donation from families have not yet entered into the discussion about financial incentives. Since most families faced with the decision to donate have not considered the issue in advance,2 the skill, attitude, and comfort level of the individual requesting donation will strongly influence whether the family will con sent to donation. At least one study has shown that uncomfortable requesters are less likely to obtain consent for donation.3 Clearly, the perspectives of these "gatekeepers" of the donation process should weigh