Public Opinions on Removing Disincentives and Introducing Incentives for Organ Donation: Proposing a European Research Agenda

Frederike Ambagtsheer*, Eline Bunnik, Liset H.M. Pengel, Marlies E.J. Reinders, Julio J. Elias, Nicola Lacetera, Mario Macis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

The shortage of organs for transplantations is increasing in Europe as well as globally. Many initiatives to the organ shortage, such as opt-out systems for deceased donation and expanding living donation, have been insufficient to meet the rising demand for organs. In recurrent discussions on how to reduce organ shortage, financial incentives and removal of disincentives, have been proposed to stimulate living organ donation and increase the pool of available donor organs. It is important to understand not only the ethical acceptability of (dis)incentives for organ donation, but also its societal acceptance. In this review, we propose a research agenda to help guide future empirical studies on public preferences in Europe towards the removal of disincentives and introduction of incentives for organ donation. We first present a systematic literature review on public opinions concerning (financial) (dis)incentives for organ donation in European countries. Next, we describe the results of a randomized survey experiment conducted in the United States. This experiment is crucial because it suggests that societal support for incentivizing organ donation depends on the specific features and institutional design of the proposed incentive scheme. We conclude by proposing this experiment’s framework as a blueprint for European research on this topic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12483
JournalTransplant International
Volume37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2024

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Copyright © 2024 Ambagtsheer, Bunnik, Pengel, Reinders, Elias, Lacetera and Macis.

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