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The “Priority Rule”

In the study entitled “Organ Allocation Policy and the Decision to Donate”, Professor Judd Kessler and Harvard economics Professor Alvin Roth, discuss a policy known as the priority rule which grants priority on organ waiting lists to those who have registered as organ donors themselves, and how the implementation of this rule can raise the number of potential donors.  Despite the fact that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 118,000 people are waiting for an organ in the U.S. , only 40% of eligible Americans are currently listed as organ donors.

A similar priority system already exists in Israel. At a conference held in March at Tel Hashomer on “Organ Donation and Incentives,” Professor Alvin Roth praised the Israeli technique for setting priorities for allocating donated organs, and the Israeli system. See full Article

In 2008, two new laws relevant to organ transplantation were introduced. According to the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the preliminary impact of the gradual introduction and implementation of these laws has been witnessed in 2011. Compared to previous years, in 2011 there was a significant increase in the number of deceased organ donors directly related to an increase in organ donation rate (from 7.8 to 11.4 donors per million population), in parallel to a significant increase in the number of new registered donors.

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