Thursday, January 05, 2012

No-give, No-take in Israel

An excellent idea (fully in line with Libertarian theory) to increase the rate of organ donation.
Of course there is also the selfish side that I've had my organ donor status as yes on my drivers license for 14 years :D

No-give, No-take in Israel:

In Entrepreneurial Economics I argued for a “no give, no take” system for organ donation–people who signed their organ donor cards would be given priority over non-signers should they one day need an organ. The idea has an element of justice to it but the primary goal is to increase the incentive to sign one’s organ donor card.

Israel recently adopted this policy by giving extra points on the allocation system to people who previously signed the organ donor card. In the case of kidneys, for example, two points (on a 0-18 point scale) are given if the candidate had three or more years previous to being listed signed their organ card.  One point is given if a first-degree relative had signed and 3.5 points if a first-degree relative had previously donated.

It’s early but so far the policy appears to be very successful:

Due to the population’s surge of interest in obtaining an organ donor card, the Adi-National Israel Transplant Center has extended through March 31 the deadline to register as a donor and receive special benefits.

…During the past few weeks, Adi’s phone system has collapsed several times due to the high demand.

Since Adi decided to give preferential treatment to those registering as a potential organ donor, tens of thousands of people have registered, raising the number of potential donors to over 600,000. Until last year, the rate of registration was among the lowest in the Western world.

Hat tip to David Undis whose excellent group Lifesharers (I am an adviser) is implementing a private version of no-give, no take in the United States.

Here is my piece on Life Saving Incentives and here are previous MR posts on organ donation.

The Problem With Patents (Infographic)

What is amazing through this is that even though the patent system often seems to grant patents for absurdly obvious things (and ignoring prior art / visualisations) - is how complex the process is when there is a genuine breakthrough that deserves protection.

So it would seem to be failing on that front as well.

patents infographic