Poor will lose in competition for organs

We should tread carefully on the issue of compensating organ donors ("Consider monetary compensation for organ donors" by Mr Seah Yam Meng; last Saturday).

Implementing financial compensation would only shift the demographic of organ recipients towards those who are wealthier.

The demand for organs will always remain high, so the amount of compensation will become competitive, thus eliminating the chances of a poor person receiving a transplant.

A poor person may also become a donor in hopes of gaining some financial relief, ignoring the health risks that are involved.

The idea of offering economic benefits in exchange for organs is inconsistent with our values as a society.

The idea of offering economic benefits in exchange for organs is inconsistent with our values as a society. Any attempt to assign a monetary value to the human body or parts of the body diminishes human dignity.

Any attempt to assign a monetary value to the human body or parts of the body diminishes human dignity.

It could be an affront to the thousands of donors who have already made an altruistic gift of life, and could alienate those who are preparing to donate out of humanitarian concern.

A more innovative step to alleviate the donor shortage is to give priority to those who are willing to donate their organs, should they need a transplant in future. This could be a sort of insurance for themselves.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'Poor will lose in competition for organs'. Print Edition | Subscribe