Organ Donation Credits in Israel

February 27, 2007

Israel is considering an organ donation credit for those that sign their donation cards.

The move that I have initiated calls for giving the signatory of a donor card credits concerning his placement on the waiting list of candidates for transplants, if one day he is in need of such an operation. In order to discuss the implications of such a step, which for the first time introduces a non-medical criterion to the list of medical criteria that determine a patient’s place on the list, the National Transplant Center set up a special forum in which several of the best minds in the field of ethics and law in Israel participated. After a penetrating discussion, the following proposal was accepted by a majority: Every list of candidates for an organ transplant will be headed by those candidates who signed a donor card at least a year before being listed (the exact order will be determined according to the currently accepted medical criteria). Candidates who did not sign a donor card in time will be placed further down the list, according to medical criteria.¬†

According to the article, Israel lags other western countries in organ donation agreements (45% vs. 95%) and organ donation card signatories (8% vs. 30-40%). I wonder what accounts for the difference.