Singapore may legalize compensation for human organs

Singapore’s Ministry of Health is seeking public input on proposed amendments to the country’s Human Organ Transplant Act. The amendments would

(a) Lift the upper age limit for cadaveric organ donation;

(b) Allow donor-recipient paired matching for exchanges of organs; and

(c) Compensate living donors according to international ethical practices.

Regarding compensation,

To protect the welfare of living donors, MOH is proposing that these donors be compensated for direct costs incurred as a result of the donation, and indirect losses such as lost earnings and future expenses due to the donation. The compensation framework will be in line with international and local ethical recommendations.

Thus, someone with lower earnings would receive less compensation.

The ministry says it would not be creating a market for organs:

HOTA will continue to prohibit the buying and selling of organs. To protect donors and recipients from exploitation by unscrupulous middlemen, MOH is proposing to raise the penalties to deter organ trading syndicates and unscrupulous middlemen.

In a well-functioning market every donor would receive equal compensation for an organ of equal quality.

The National Kidney Foundation in the U.S. says it isin the process of evaluating our position on financial incentives for organ donation.”

There is some suggestion that Singapore is seeking to expand its medical tourism sector.

Thanks to Marginal Revolution.

Finally, in a world first, a woman has had a body part replaced using stem cells. Her own stem cells.

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