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Informed Consent Versus Presumed Consent The Role of the Family in Organ Donations

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Fevrier

    (ENSAE)

  • Sebastien Gay

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

Two types of legislation underlie cadaveric organ donations: presumed consent (PC) and informed consent (IC). In informed consent countries, people are only donors when deceased if they registered to do so while alive. Conversely, in presumed consent countries, anybody is a potential donor when deceased. People have thus to register if they do not want to donate their body. PC has always been perceived as the “best” system for society in terms of organ donations whereas IC is supposed to be more ethical. However, in both systems, the family has a say, especially for the deceased who did not sign anything while alive. Taking the family decision into account, we show that the previous results may be reversed. The difference between both systems resides in the way an individual can commit to his/her will, eventually against the opinion of his/her family. IC can dominate PC in terms of organ donations whereas PC can be a more ethical system. In the general case, two opposite effects are at stake and the result depends on the extent to which people stay in the default situation. We discuss several causes of inactions (death taboo, procrastination, anticipated regret,...) and their impact on both the individual and the family.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Fevrier & Sebastien Gay, 2005. "Informed Consent Versus Presumed Consent The Role of the Family in Organ Donations," HEW 0509007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0509007
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 19
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/hew/papers/0509/0509007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker & Julio Jorge Elías, 2007. "Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
    2. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2005. "Passive Decisions and Potent Defaults," NBER Chapters,in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 59-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
    4. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187.
    5. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    6. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    7. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    8. Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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