In what may be the first of its kind program in the world, Israel has decided to offer incentives to people who sign organ donor cards. Such citizens will be given priority if they happen to require transplants in future.
Professor Jacob Lavee of Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv has written about the program in the latest issue of The Lancet. He said it was a reward for people who help others. "For 30 years we used medical criteria only and it has gotten us nowhere," said Dr Lavee. "People are dying every day on the waiting list."
People who need heart or lung transplants will be given priority, but if two people need the same organ and are equally suitable then the person who signed the organ donor card will be given priority.
The plan though has its dissenters, Assa Kasher, emeritus professor of professional ethics at Tel Aviv University said, "It is in the essence of medical treatment that you make decisions on the grounds of providing opportunity for the one in the worst condition or the one who will benefit most medically."