The Ethics and Economics of Kidney Donations and Transplantations

Open Access
Fernando, Lasanthi S
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Economics and Philosophy
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jadrian James Wooten, Thesis Supervisor
  • Vincent M Colapietro, Honors Advisor
  • James R. Tybout, Honors Advisor
  • Organs
  • ethics
  • economics
  • empirical
With over 100,000 individuals waiting for a kidney transplant, and with over 1,000 individuals dying while waiting for a kidney, great and immediate attention must be paid to the field of organ donations and transplantations. The following thesis is a robust analysis of the major components affecting kidney transplantations in the United States. This thesis focuses on the ethics and economics of legislations as well as procedures to acquire and allocate a scarce medical resource. The literature review reveals shortcomings in each topic that can be remedied with recommendations that are dually supported by ethics and economics. One such recommendation is a required response system aimed to acquire more organs by respecting autonomy while reducing the burden to supply consent to donate organs post-mortem. An empirical analysis of data provided by the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) and Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) reveals an insignificant effect of a required response system on the procedure to acquire organs.