Singapore is to allow compensation for kidney transplants and for eggs. A government proposal has been approved by a bioethics committee and legislation will be introduced early next year. The committee declared that reimbursement for kidney donation was acceptable as long as it is not "an undue inducement, nor amounting to organ trading".
What exactly this means for kidneys is difficult to fathom. According to the BMJ, a sum of S$10,000 [currently about $6500 US -EV] was mentioned. According to the Straits Times, the health minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, mentioned "at least a five-figure sum, possibly even six-figure" as appropriate reimbursement. This would include expenses, such as transport and medical costs, as well as loss of earnings. Also, the donor should be covered for follow-up medical costs and higher insurance premiums as a result of losing a kidney....
The committee has recommended that the reimbursement scheme begin with donors who are Singapore citizens and permanent residents....
I'm not sure that sums like these are adequate or fair, but it sounds to me like a step in the right direction. For my thinking on the subject, see this chain of posts, especially those starting with "Medical Self-Defense and Bans on Payment for Organs."
UPDATE: James Wimberley (at The Reality-Based Community) blogs about Spain's way of increasing organ donations, which seems to focus on internal hospital procedures. If it works, that's great; but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be enough to clear out the waiting lists, so compensation would still be needed -- and eminently justified -- on top of the Spanish solution. Thanks to Victor Steinbok for the pointer.
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