Prize, not price: reframing rewards for kidney donors

Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (12):e57-e57 (2021)
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Worldwide 1.2 million people are dying from kidney failure each year, and in the USA alone, approximately 100 000 people are currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. One possible solution to the kidney shortage is for governments to pay donors for one of their healthy kidneys and distribute these kidneys according to need. There are, however, compelling objections to this government-monopsony model. To avoid these objections, I propose a small adjustment to the model. I suggest we reward kidney sellers with both money and a ceremony that celebrates their noble act. They should, in other words, receive a prize rather than a price.

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Aksel Sterri
Harvard University


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