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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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Economic and Political Causes of the Shortage of Organs

Economic and Political Causes of the Shortage of Organs

Chapter:
(p.92) 5 Economic and Political Causes of the Shortage of Organs
Source:
The Global Organ Shortage
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804784092.003.0005

This chapter examines several primary causes of the organ shortage, beginning with the most basic economic explanation: the prohibition on compensating organ donors. For very many people, human organs are not appropriate articles for “commerce,” and this fact has led many critics to suggest that the results of introducing compensation will not be satisfactory. Whether due to a loss of donations, public revulsion, or expansions in the waiting lists, human organs are viewed by some as very poor candidates for economic transactions. The chapter also considers several other contributing forces that appear to exacerbate the organ shortages in most countries. These include the institutional structures of organ procurement organizations, weak incentives at some intermediate stages in the transplant process, and substitution behavior among donors under uncompensated systems.

Keywords:   organ shortage, organ transplants, organ donors, donor compensation, organ procurement, substitution behavior, human organs

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