15 Mar

Debating Finances in Transplantation

Transplantation has always provoked a myriad of ethical questions, particularly around organ procurement methods. Recently, with ballooning waitlists and stagnant organ donation the question of financial incentives as a means to increase organ donation has come under scrutiny.

In recognition of these fundamental questions, and the need for an effective forum for meaningful discussion, MOTIONS UofT (Multi-Organ Transplant Insight, Outreach and Networking Society), in association with the department of Multi-Organ Transplant, was pleased to hold its inaugural debate asking whether it’s time for financial incentives in organ donation.

Linda Wright (Director of Bioethics) along with medical student Roman Zyla expertly argued against the motion; citing numerous ethical quagmires and dangers.  A notable point was the potential for social divisiveness which Linda Wright pointed out, “could victimize the poorest and most vulnerable of society”. They also noted the availability of other, potentially less harmful means to increase donation which have not yet been exhausted

However, Andrea Norgate (Pancreas Transplant Coordinator) and ethics and law student Sabina Freiman skillfully countered, citing the vast pragmatic benefits of financial incentives, and the ineffectuality of other means thus far attempted. Andrea Norgate also added that “many people want to donate, but can’t afford to; a small incentive to cover additional costs would give the means for these individuals to donate […] who are we to stop them?”

It was an evening of fabulous discourse and electric interplay, with great ideas from both sides. MOTIONS President, Maya Deeb said, “we hope to introduce more such forums in the future, and allow these conversations to flourish”.

For information on upcoming events or to learn more about MOTIONS UofT, please e-mail: motsrtp@uhn.ca

Pictured Above: Linda Wright (left) & Roman Zyla (right)

Pictured Above: Andrea Norgate (left) & Sabina Freiman (right)