New bill would allow pilot programs to test non-cash incentives to promote organ donation

NEPHROLOGY NEWS | Rebecca Zumoff

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., introduced legislation on May 26 that aims to clarify the legality of providing reimbursement to living organ donors. The Organ Donor Clarification Act of 2016 clarifies that pilot programs that provide non-cash incentives and reimbursements for expenses to organ donors are not preempted by federal criminal law.

Currently, organ transplantation is governed by the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984, which prohibits buying or selling organs for “valuable consideration.”

Read also: Financial incentives for organ donation a polarizing issue, but it’s time to test the waters

“Confusion about what constitutes valuable consideration has hampered donation by scaring people away from reimbursing living organ donors for things like medical expenses and lost wages,” said Cartwright. “Both are legal under NOTA, but the law’s lack of clarity and its criminal penalties have created uncertainty and prevented reimbursements in many cases.

The Organ Donor Clarification Act would clarify that certain reimbursements are not valuable consideration but are reimbursements for expenses a donor incurs, including: continues reading

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