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Kidney Foundation Asking Government to Pay Funeral Expenses for Donors

February 19, 1992

ATLANTA (AP) _ The government should recruit more organ donors by giving their families $2,000 for funeral expenses, a Washington lawyer and transplant expert says.

Rewarding donors is justified because ″demand outstrips the supply and people die waiting,″ Isabel Dunst said Tuesday at a hearing the National Kidney Foundation held in Atlanta, the second of four being held around the country.

Dr. Wesley Alexander, director of the transplant program at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said financial incentives would save millions of dollars in money the government must use to keep kidney patients alive while waiting for donors.

But one medical ethicist said it sends a repugnant message.

Arthur Caplan, director of the center for biomedical ethics at the University of Minnesota, said the unspoken purpose is to get more minorities to donate organs. He said financial incentives would indicate ″medicine is willing to buy bodies.″

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