Incentives to donate organs?

There are incentives to spur small businesses, to help the unemployed, and educate youth, but should there be an incentive to donate organs?  It’s a hot topic in China right now as the government launches a plan to get more people to donate their organs.

Nearly 1.5 million people in China need organ transplants each year, but only 10,000 can get one, according to the Health Ministry.  Government officials believe offering a little bonus might change the shortage and help thousands of people in need.

Under the proposed plan, someone that agrees to donate their organs upon death could be eligible for a range of incentives including tax rebates and medical insurance.  Even college tuition payments are being considered.

The government believes this new initiative will not only help thousands of people waiting for an organ, but will also curtail the growing black market to purchase an organ.

About organ donation in the U.S.
According to Donate Life, a non-profit organization in the U.S. that focuses on increasing organ donation, more than 110,000 men, women, and children are waiting for an organ transplant.  The demand in the U.S. does outweigh the supply, but the U.S. is in better shape than China when it comes to donations.  In 2010 28,000 people got an organ transplant in the U.S.

For years, U.S. citizens could mark their license to tell doctors if they want to donate their organs in the event of an emergency.  China is looking to launch a similar campaign.

U.S. statistics on organ donation:
*Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national registry.
*An average of 18 people die each day waiting for an organ.
*90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know about the steps needed to become a donor.
*For more information about donating an organ, go to the Donate Life website.

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