Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Mutual Insurance Pool' Could Improve Transplant Organ Shortage

Date:
August 4, 1998
Source:
Simon Fraser University
Summary:
Two Simon Fraser University researchers say a chronic shortage of human organs needed for transplant in North America could be effectively alleviated through the implementation of a traditional "insurance" program.

Two Simon Fraser University researchers say a chronic shortage of human organs needed for transplant in North America could be effectively alleviated through the implementation of a traditional "insurance" program.

Related Articles


In an article to be published this fall in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, SFU business professors Aidan Vining and Richard Schwindt are selling the idea of a "mutual insurance pool" as an alternative incentive program to their proposed future delivery market for organs, which generated continent-wide interest and controversy more than a decade ago.

The major stumbling block of the earlier future market scheme, in which individuals could sell the rights to their organs, to be delivered at death, was its emphasis on monetary incentives.

The researchers, both public policy analysts in SFU's faculty of business administration, argue that an insurance pool would be more "politically feasible."

"The concept of mutual insurance is an old tradition," notes Vining. "It has a long and respected lineage, which should help to support the social and political acceptability of this idea."

According to the proposal, an individual would receive priority for a transplant upon agreeing that his or her organs will be available to other members of the insurance pool upon death.

In cases where there are multiple members of the pool waiting for the same organ type, pool "managers" would use an intrapool priority system, based on standard matching procedures.

"In an insurance pool, an individual's commitment to having his or her organs delivered at death is a form of insurance premium," explains Vining.

"The insurance benefit is the priority right to an organ if an individual falls into the recipient class," he adds. "It's equivalent to the benefit an insured person receives when claiming for property fire or flood damage. The premium, or 'price,' in this case is the commitment to provide one's own organs upon death."

The researchers initially came up with the insurance pool idea as a solution to the growing need for organs for children, as youngsters would have been unable to participate on their own behalf in the formerly proposed future market system.

The pair propose the pool be organized as a government-run monopoly to simplify the collection and transferring of organs to pool recipients, and to ensure a level of trust that would encourage potential donors to join.

They also expect the idea would be more attractive to "risk-averse" individuals, such as those with higher incomes, who would tend not to be enticed by monetary incentives.

To avert the problem of too many "high-risk" individuals insuring, sending "premiums" escalating, the researchers recommend required medical examinations for applicants, and only admitting those with a "normal probability" of needing a transplant. Another option would be to create "risk classes" and give low-risk individuals first-priority access to organs donated within their class. "This would encourage low-risk individuals to join, increasing the supply of organs to the benefit of all groups," says Schwindt.

The researchers expect that non-pool members would probably benefit from the scheme, even if the government mandated that non-pool donors organs not specifically targeted elsewhere were first made available to pool members. "That would certainly raise the incentive to join the pool," adds Schwindt, "and the number of organs available."

Given the right factors, Vining and Schwindt believe the mutual insurance pool has the potential to bring supply and demand on par. "What is still uncertain," notes Vining, "is precisely how individuals will respond to this idea -- and how many would chose to join."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Simon Fraser University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Simon Fraser University. "'Mutual Insurance Pool' Could Improve Transplant Organ Shortage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980804080133.htm>.
Simon Fraser University. (1998, August 4). 'Mutual Insurance Pool' Could Improve Transplant Organ Shortage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980804080133.htm
Simon Fraser University. "'Mutual Insurance Pool' Could Improve Transplant Organ Shortage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980804080133.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins