Poll shows Americans in favor of healthcare credits for organ donations

A newly released poll doesn't shy away from a controversial topic: The latest Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll finds that a majority of Americans believe live organ donors should be afforded compensation in the form of healthcare credits for their donation, and it should come from health insurance companies.

The survey, which asked respondents their opinions on potential compensation for organ donation, concluded that 60 percent of Americans are in favor of providing benefits in the form of healthcare credits to organ donors.  Slightly more than 46 percent of respondents said tax credits would be an appropriate reimbursement.

When asked to put a dollar amount on what donors should be allowed to collect:

  • 37 percent said less than $10,000;
  • 27 percent said a range in between $10,000 and $24,999; and
  • 7 percent said there should be no monetary compensation.

The potential for controversy stems from a perceived parallel that could be drawn between compensation for donation and buying organs. However, 60 percent of respondents indicated a distinction between the two, although that rate tended to decrease with increasing age.

"The advance of medical technology with respect to organ donation has been astounding in recent years, making once hopeless cases completely curable," said Raymond Fabius, MD, chief medical officer at the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.  "Given the potential of the science, it only makes sense that we support donors, particularly with their health-related future costs and the majority of our survey respondents seem to support this approach to compensation."

The Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll utilizes the Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey, an independently funded, nationally representative telephone poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from more than 100,000 U.S. households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR.

The figures in this month's poll are based on 3,015 participants interviewed from December 1-13, 2011. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

Click here to access the full report (PDF).

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