“Euros for your organs”?
On February 14, 2019 Denise de Ridder was a discussant of Johns Hopkins economist Mario Macis’ lecture on organ donation in Rotterdam during an event organized by Erasmus University, Royal Netherlands Economics Association and the Arminius Center for Debate. Whereas Macis made a case for incentivizing the donation of blood and organs by cash payments (‘euros for your organs’), De Ridder argued that autonomy and empathy are essential requirements for any government policy aimed at encouraging people to contribute to the common good. While cash payments may increase the willingness to donate in the short term, the downstream consequences in terms of effectiveness are unknown as is the impact on people sense of autonomy and decision making competence. Moreover, monetary rewards may especially affect low income groups who feel pressured to donate for immediate financial relief. Robert Dur moderated the evening.