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The Impact of Presumed Consent Legislation on Cadaveric Organ Donation: A Cross Country Study

  • Alberto Abadie
  • Sebastien Gay

In the U.S., Great Britain, and in many other countries, the gap between the demand and the supply of human organs for transplantation is on the rise, despite the efforts of governments and health agencies to promote donor registration. In some countries of continental Europe, however, cadaveric organ procurement is based on the principle of presumed consent. Under presumed consent legislation, a deceased individual is classified as a potential donor in absence of explicit opposition to donation before death. This article analyzes the impact of presumed consent laws on donation rates. For this purpose, we construct a dataset on organ donation rates and potential factors affecting organ donation for 22 countries over a 10-year period. We find that while differences in other determinants of organ donation explain much of the variation in donation rates, after controlling for those determinants presumed consent legislation has a positive and sizeable effect on organ donation rates.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10604.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Abadie, Alberto & Gay, Sebastien, 2006. "The impact of presumed consent legislation on cadaveric organ donation: A cross-country study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 599-620, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10604
Note: HE
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  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521252805 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Nick Feltovich & Richmond Harbaugh & Ted To, 2002. "Too Cool for School? Signalling and Countersignalling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 630-649, Winter.
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