Proper Incentives for Organ Donation: A Multidisciplinary Local and International Study on the Divergent Models

Project: Research

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This project intends to establish proper incentive measures to increase organ donations in Hong Kong. Studies have shown that compared to dialysis, significantly lower mortality, doubled life expectancy, and the better quality of life are associated with renal transplant recipients. Organ transplants can also substantially reduce health care costs. However, the shortage of organs for transplantation remains a global problem. The demand for organs (especially kidneys) in Hong Kong far outstrips the supply. Hong Kong has taken few useful incentive measures and is lacking of a shaped model for promoting organ donation.This project aims to work out a group of incentive measures that are practically effective, ethically justifiable and politically legitimate for Hong Kong to employ to enhance donation. We will study three prominent international models of organ donation to investigate what Hong Kong can learn from them. These models can be termed liberalism, compensationalism and familism and are practiced respectively in the United States, Iran, and mainland China that we have selected as three target countries for the research. This project does not attempt to affirm which model, as a whole, is overwhelmingly recommendable to Hong Kong. Rather, we will integrate the merits of each model to propose a group of incentive measures suitable for Hong Kong. This group of incentive measures will not be established unless each measure is to be confirmed as practically effective, ethically justifiable, and politically legitimate through our research. We will conduct a small pool of in-depth interviews in the three target countries to secure useful data regarding most effective and justifiable incentive measures being adopted in each model. By analyzing such data and taking Hong Kong’s culture, reality and demand into consideration, we will propose a group of incentive measures and relevant questions to conduct interviews in Hong Kong to explore its suitability. We will also analyze if legal amendment and/or legislation are needed in order to implement such incentive measures. Finally, we will conduct a quantitative survey to find out if the majority people of Hong Kong support implementing this group of incentive measures so as to test its political legitimacy. If this group of incentive measures will have met all three conditions – practical effectiveness, ethical justifiability, and political legitimacy, we will be in an academically sound position to suggest that Hong Kong must take it to optimize organ donations in the society.


Project number9042739
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/09/1810/10/22