The transplant imperative : protecting living donors from the pressure to donate

by Joel Kallich, Jon Merz


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback16 pages Free

This article briefly reviews the history of organ transplantation. It then addresses the pressures to use living donors from the perspective of developing a process to ensure that this surgical procedure takes place with the informed consent of the donor. The focus is on informed consent and concerns whether people can make a decision free from coercion, and with all available information on the risks and benefits of the decision. This article then puts forth a framework for reviewing laws, policies, and procedures involving informed consent and examines the basis of informed consent for living organ donation from the perspectives of the law, medical ethics, and the individual donor's interests. The article concludes with a series of suggestions to help ensure that the donor makes an informed choice that is as free as possible from the many pressures to donate.

Originally published in: Journal of Corporation Law, v. 20, no. 1, Fall 1994, pp. 139-154.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.