Freebie funerals may lure organ donors

2011-10-10 22:58

kalahari.com

London - Offering free funerals to people who donate kidneys, livers and other organs could help boost donation rates, an influential British medical ethics group says.

In a set of recommendations published on Monday, the Nuffield Council listed various ways to encourage people to donate more body parts, including organs, blood, eggs and sperm.

It suggested that Britain's health system test the idea of paying for the funerals of people who sign up to the national organ donor register and then die after donating a body part. The free funerals would not be available to living donors, such as people who voluntarily give up a kidney, bone marrow, or liver.

"We have ruled out giving people a direct financial incentive to donate," said Keith Rigg, a transplant surgeon at Nottingham University Hospital and an author of the report.

Rigg told reporters on Monday that the free funeral idea would not benefit the donor, but might offer surviving relatives help at a difficult time. He said it was similar to what's done in medical schools, which often cover the burial or cremation costs of people who donate their bodies for anatomy and other classes.

While there are 18 million people in the UK signed up to donate organs, only about 1 000 people a year actually do so, mostly because few die in circumstances that allow their organs to be donated. Britain has the second-lowest rate of organ donation in Europe, just above Greece.

Rigg said the funerals proposal should be tested first to see if it would actually increase organ donation rates, and that experts hadn't set a limit on the amount of money families would get for funeral expenses.

Other experts weren't sure it would work.

Odd reward

"Associating free funerals with organ donation is an odd reward," said Art Caplan, director of the Centre for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. "It reminds people of how they get to be an organ donor and may make them nervous."

Caplan said educating the public about the need for organ donation would be a better way to convince more people to donate.

John Harris, a bioethics professor at the University of Manchester, described the free funerals offer as "macabre" and said more people would sign up to donate if offered more direct incentives, such as cash.

"We shouldn't be hung up on this idea that altruism and recompense are mutually exclusive," he said. "It is not wrong to try to influence people to do good."

- AP

Read more on:    uk  |  health
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.