'Pay funeral costs in return for organs': study
Published: 14 Apr 2011 07:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Apr 2011 07:30 GMT+02:00
Swedish county health authorities should be allowed to pay for funerals in return for the relatives allowing the donation of the deceased's organs, Swedish researchers have argued in a new study.
The researchers, from Linköping in eastern Sweden, argue that the provision of 30,000 ($4,800) - 45,000 kronor to pay for funeral costs would help to increase the supply of organs in Sweden.
They also argue that the sum is too small to encourage greed and the money would be reserved exclusively for funeral expenses or donations to charity.
"There is really no moral argument against this model," said one of the researchers Gustav Tinghög to the Sydsvenskan daily.
The Local reported in late March that some 30 Swedes had travelled abroad since the 1980s to have transplants using organs bought from impoverished people in foreign countries.
One of the Swedes who bought an organ explained that he had tired of waiting in line for an operation and had instead travelled to Pakistan to buy a kidney.
Organ trade is prohibited under Swedish law.
Social affairs minister Göran Hägglund said at the time that he was deeply concerned by the development, which he described as unethical.
“It’s a manifestation of a sort of organ colonialism by which people in the wealthy part of the world exploit the poorest people in the world in a way that is completely unacceptable,” he said.
Hägglund said the Swedish system for donating organs worked quite well, but stressed that there was also plenty of scope for improvement.
“There are a lot of people who say they are prepared to donate their organs - 80 percent according to some studies - but there are very few who go from words to action,” he said.