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I wonder about a policy of prioritizing organ donor card holders over others, when allocating donated organs, given that all other conditions are equal.

Background information:

A policy preferring donor card holders (a card expressing consent to donate post-mortem) was implemented in Israel in 2008. This increased the rate of donor card signups. Before 2008 organ donor card holder rate was low compared to western countries, and it is still low but rising. There are possibly religious reasons for the lower acceptance of organ donation in Israel.

In many countries there is a lack of donated organs, for example the US and Germany (German source), which is a serious problem and many people die before they receive an organ.

My question is: Are there any other countries besides Israel which implemented such a policy, or has there been any research/experience in implementing such a policy?

I am aware that there are several other strategies and aspects to be considered but I am especially interested in the idea of prioritizing organ donor card holders.

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    Anyone know how this is handled in China currently? – jjack Feb 23 '18 at 8:43
  • This article gives a good overview about the situation in China in 2010: chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-04/10/content_9711027.htm. Seems like voluntary organ donation was just starting then, before exectued prisoners where the major source. – NashVio Feb 23 '18 at 9:34
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    The German source puts the blame on the clinics which don't bother to remove the organs of deceased patients with organ donor cards. Lack of people who volunteer to be donors does not seem to be the problem. – Philipp Feb 23 '18 at 9:38
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – SJuan76 Feb 23 '18 at 11:51
  • The Israeli Adi campaign raised awareness to the problem beside motovation. Many secular Israelis were regularly donating blood, but were not aware that organ donation was such a big problem. It also takes care of the content issue. Now if someone has an adi card it is clear to thir relatives that the person wanted their organs donated. – Ekaterin Nile Feb 25 '18 at 18:06
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Yes, and the term that's used is allocation priority. The WHO hosts an article on this. The article is centred around Chile, but also mentions Singapore and Israel.

I will briefly summarise it by quoting. I recommend scrolling through the article itself to get a more extensive picture.

On Singapore:

In 1987, Singapore passed the Human Organ Transplant Act, which applies the priority rule with an opt-out system. [...] Singapore’s combination of presumed consent and priority status appears to have been somewhat successful in increasing organ donations.

On Chile:

o address this large-scale opt-out, Chile amended the Organ Donor Act with Law 20673 in October 2013. The revision required individuals wishing to become non-donors to submit a notarized statement to the non-donor registry. The amended act also asserts that: “All else being equal, those not registered as non-donors will be entitled to priority in allocation of organs for transplantation purposes.” The registry’s role is now twofold. In addition to documenting the wishes of objectors, it provides an additional tool for transplantation physicians to decide who gets priority. As such, provided there is equal need and compatibility, registered non-donors are not prioritized.

That article doesn't say much about the results in Chile yet, but I think there are more recent articles that do say more about the effects of the new law in Chile.

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