Canadian ethicist: Tax credits for organs

June 14, 2010 at 8:52 PM
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MONTREAL, June 14 (UPI) -- A Canadian ethicist says tax credits would help encourage people to become organ donor "second consenters," a person to vouch for the donor's wishes.

Jurgen De Wispelaere, a visiting fellow with the Centre for Ethics Research at the University of Montreal suggests a second consenter -- a person designated by the donor to verify his or her wishes -- could help avoid the loss of organs due to family members disagreeing despite a signed donor card.

Also, the availability of a second consenter would make it more likely doctors will proceed when family can't be reached in time.

"The donor would have a living advocate who could say, 'Yes, we had a discussion about this, and I can assure you that the person really wanted to go ahead,'" De Wispelaere said in a statement. "We think this reduces the stress on the family."

De Wispelaere suggests giving the second consenter the tax credit -- whether the organs are used for transplant or not -- provides an incentive for people to not change their mind when the potential donor dies.

De Wispelaere presented his study and called for those responsible for public policy to address the serious shortage of organs at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences held at Montreal's Concordia University.

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