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The Global Organ ShortageEconomic Causes, Human Consequences, Policy Responses$
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T. Randolph Beard, David L. Kaserman, and Rigmar Osterkamp

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804784092

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804784092.001.0001

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Social Costs and Benefits of Transplants

Social Costs and Benefits of Transplants

(p.72) 4 Social Costs and Benefits of Transplants
The Global Organ Shortage
Stanford University Press

This chapter makes the medical and financial case for large increases in transplant activity. It reviews studies that examine in detail the social costs and benefits of various transplants, and finds, consistent with overwhelming medical opinion, that transplantation is the best and most cost-effective treatment for a number of serious disorders. In the case of kidney transplants and end-stage renal disease, one can justify paying very large compensation to donors (or their families) based solely on savings to public health funds. Many billions of dollars or euros are lost every year through continued reliance on the current system of organ procurement. In contrast, it is more difficult to rationalize large increases in certain other transplant procedures purely based on direct medical cost effects. It is unlikely, given current technological constraints and life expectancies, that large expansions in heart-lung transplants will “pay for themselves” in this sense.

Keywords:   organ transplants, organ transplantation, donor compensation, organ procurement, healthcare costs, kidney transplants, renal disease, heart-lung transplants

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