The premise of the paper is the sad fact that:
"There are about 100,000 people on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney transplant in the United States, a number that grows from year to year despite advances that have increased the availability of kidney transplantation. About 35,000 patients joined the waiting list in 2012, though only about 11,000 deceased donor transplants were performed, along with about 6,000 transplants from living donors. So the modal kidney donor in the United States is now a living donor, even though there are more transplants from deceased donors, who donate two kidneys. While kidneys from deceased donors are allocated by UNOS to patients on the waiting list according to strict rules, living donors typically give a kidney to a relative or loved one in need. In this paper we explore possible ways to increase the number of living donors.
The present paper explores another way to possibly ease the path towards non‐directed kidney donation among those inclined to make such a donation by combining the appreciations of both philanthropy and heroism[..]. Specifically we consider an award that recognizes a non‐directed donor as a hero and comes with a prize of $50.000. We report a brief preliminary survey designed to assess public reaction to various forms of heroism awards for non‐directed kidney donors.
"While the survey we report here provides very limited ability to determine causes, it does suggest that payments to non‐directed kidney donors would meet with more approval and less strong disapproval when included in awards for heroism, and when paid from a private foundation [added: with time delay after donation]. Consequently this may be an avenue worth further exploration in the effort to increase donation and relieve the shortage of kidneys and the burden of kidney disease.
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