55 Percent Favor Financially Compensating Organ Donors


Although the United States forbids the financial compensation of organ donors, a recent Reason-Rupe poll finds a majority of Americans (55 percent) favor allowing healthy people under medical supervision to sell their organs to patients who need them for transplants. The intensity of support is on the side of those who favor with 34 percent who "strongly favor" compared to 25 percent who "strongly oppose."

Younger Americans are far more likely to support financial compensation of organ donors: 73 percent favor among 18 to 29 year olds and 64 percent among those 30 to 44 years old. However, support drops twenty percent points for those 45 years and older.

Interestingly, ideological and partisan groups are in similar agreement to allow financial compensation of organ donors, although liberals are slightly more likely to favor. Religious affiliation also does not correlate strongly with support or opposition. More education does correlate with greater opposition to financially compensating organ donors.


Full poll results found here.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted March 10th-20th of both mobile and landline phones, 1200 adults, margin of error +/- 3 percent. Columns may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here

Emily Ekins is the director of polling for Reason Foundation where she leads the Reason-Rupe public opinion research project, launched in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @emilyekins.

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  1. I wonder how these numbers compare to people in favor of prostitution. Giving an organ for money is giving an organ for money, right?

    1. Unless you are going to the entirely wrong sort of prostitute (or are into that sort of thing), the organs usually stay with the respective participants afterwards.

    2. Q: What did the leper say to the prostitute?

      A: Keep the tip.

      1. My third favorite joke!


        One scientist asks the other scientist, “How do you make a hormone?”

        The other scientist replies, “Don’t pay her.”


        Q: Why do men die first?

        A: Because they want to.

        1. Q: Why do men die first?
          A: Because they want to.

          I’ve also heard:

          A: Because their wives refuse to.

        2. Q: How do you get a sweet little old lady to drop the f-bomb?

          A: Get another sweet little old lady to shout “Bingo!”

  2. It should also be possible to create terms for compensation for organs to go to a party specified in my estate.

  3. Ideally if I die in an organ-preserving way my parts can be auctioned off, Ferengi-style, to benefit my heirs.

    1. “fuck, I got all but 2slices of Spoonman’s liver. so much for my transplant…”

  4. “Although the United States forbids the financial compensation of organ donors…”
    but not the for-profit corps that sell ones’ donated organs…even w/o a nice chianti

  5. Look, can we just admit already that if there’s something that a majority of americans agree on that actually makes sense, it is the federal govt’s job to do the exact opposite.

    1. I like the cut of your jib, sailor.

  6. “And once I’m swept into office, I’ll sell our children’s organs to zoos for meat, and I’ll go into people’s houses at night and wreck up the place. Muahahaha!”

    1. “Now look here, you drugged-out Communist. I paid for this body and I’d no sooner return it than I would my little cocker spaniel dog, Checkers.”

      1. “Our planet has been through a lot this year, but we have not forgotten what is truly important…the great taste of Charleston Chew!”

        1. “Now you have gills, you no need lungs.”
          “That seems fair”
          “I take lungs now, you get gills in a week or so.”

  7. A real libertarian would let people sell vital organs as well.

    1. Agree. Selling property is the essence of liberty even if that property is part of ones own body.

      Sell yer eggs, bitches!

      (SoCon bait)

  8. But why buy American when you can buy kidnapped and murdered Indian orphan organs for nickels on the dollar?

    1. substandard product?

      1. Twenty years ago there was a rumor in China that Americans were adopting kids so they could be harvested for their organs.

        1. which totally doesn’t make any sort of economic or practical sense.

          Breeding your own kids would be cheaper AND produce a more compatible transplant source.

          1. I don’t know, after the cost of food, clothing, etc. by the time they are 18, it adds up. Plus, what if they decide not to let you have an organ. Much cheaper just to buy one.

            1. who says you have to wait till 18 to harvest?

            2. what if they decide not to let you have an organ

              if you’re letting them decide, that’s your failure. I don’t let my tomatoes backtalk me when I pick em.

  9. And who is going to do the compensating? The recipient?

    In principle I am not against the selling of organs and I think it should be legal, but I also find it reprehensible.

    1. At least until you go into end-stage renal failure anyway.

      1. Organ transplant itself isnt the problem for me. I am a donor.

        I find people giving up organs for profit creepy as hell. Mind you, I think they should be legally able to do it. It is their kidney or whatever.
        I think also that more lives would probably be saved…..

        I guess it is just that I see one selling organs for profit as a sign of a seriously flawed character.

        1. What a ridiculous statement. Selling something that you have and don’t need to make some money–which you may very well need–is a sign of a seriously flawed character?

          Personally, I find judging other people’s decisions as to whether they might want to sell their organs as the sign of a seriously flawed character.

        2. I guess I look at it as a way to somewhat lighten the financial hit the donor’s family takes. Some good comes from a bad situation. Right now the doctors and hospitals profit from tranplants, so why not the source as well.

        3. How much for your fourth toe on your left foot?

          1. How much for your fourth toe on your left foot?


        4. Why is it creepy?

          What I find “creepy” is that moral opprobrium is indirectly killing the people who are on long waitlists.

    2. I am so goddamn classic liberal I am for AUCTIONING body parts.

    3. And who is going to do the compensating? The recipient?

      Most likely the price would be factored into the cost of the surgery. If your insurance company pays for the transplant, they would also pay for the organ itself.

      … but I also find it reprehensible.

      Just curious as why you would find this reprehensible (strong word). If it is voluntary on the part of both parties, what is the issue?

      1. If it is voluntary on the part of both parties, what is the issue?

        *cue objections on how poverty deprived the donor of a Truly Voluntary choice in the matter*

      2. yeah….reprehensible is too strong a word. see my reply above.

    4. And who is going to do the compensating? The recipient?

      The organ would be handled just like any of the other disposables used during surgery. I expect the hospital would front the money and bill the patient/insurer.

  10. in vitro meat -> cloned organs

    problems solved.

  11. How will Cheney compensate that poor jackal for his donor heart?

    1. Certainly not by giving him your brain.

      1. If you ever said an intelligent thing I might take you seriously.

        I take positions – LOTS of them. I put it out there.

        Fuck you, you imposter. You are not the least into sarcasm.

        1. I take positions – LOTS of them. I put it out there.

          That’s what Tony said.

  12. Is anyone else seeing the three stooges lying to the press right now?
    Calderone just said that the lifting of the assault weapons ban directly coincided with the beginning of violence in mexico.

    1. It is infuriating to see these cocksuckers lie to the camera with smiles on their faces.

      1. Why? I always smile when I’m sucking cock.

    2. For a man who leads a nation with a 4000 year history of human sacrifice, Calderone sounds deliberately obtuse.

  13. 55 Percent Tyranny of the Majority Favors Financially Compensating Organ Donors

    1. psst, Barry – don’t forget to blame Wall Street, too.

    2. i’m ok with a Tyranny of the Majority UN-prohibiting something.

      It’s when the Majority wants to prohibit my actions, or force me to act, that it becomes problematic.

  14. A couple of liberal co-workers were absolutely furious at me when I suggested this was a good idea. They seemed to be operating under the assumption that poor people would commit suicide in droves if organ sales were legalized.

    1. If I sell my heart I’ll be rich! Woo hoo!

      1. Bender’s Dillema

    2. When Rick Santorum is anti-choice, it’s because he’s evil.

      When I’m anti-choice, it’s because I really do know better than poor people how they should run their lives.

  15. Jesus fucking christ. It is nothing less than propaganda , almost a campaign ad. The press either had their questions approved or written for them.


  16. You can have my fingers when you can pry them from my cold, dead hands.



    /Sharky’s Machine

  17. I hope this goes through, because sooner or later I’m gonna need a new liver.

  18. The decline with education is really only seen with post-graduate education. I wonder what that means, and how that category breaks down between MD, JD/LLD, PhD, etc.

    1. That part’s really striking. The strongly favorable are much lower and the strongly opposed are much higher. I would have hoped MD’s would be for it.

  19. HOW ABOUT COMPENSATING RECIPIENTS? I mean, beyond just the new organ.

  20. Hey I guess majority rules right?


  21. Black is beautiful

  22. Its sad that educated people think its worth seeing people die to avoid their personal discomfort at the thought of a voluntary transaction that happens to involve money. I find it disgusting that people labeled “ethics” experts back the prohibition on paying for organs. They seem to not grasp that they are responsible for vast numbers of deaths, and should be socially shunned as no different than mass murderers, rather than viewed as “experts” on ethics.

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