Jodi - posted on 02/20/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )
Doctors worried about 'cash-for-organs
Hospitals across Australia could be paid to harvest the organs of dead patients under a $17 million federal program.
An "activity-based funding" scheme has been set up under the Organ and Tissue Authority in which hospitals could receive up to $11,400 for each patient who becomes a donor.
The funding is designed to help hospitals cover the costs linked to transplants, but doctors are worried it could be seen as an incentive for hospitals to pressure patients into giving away their organs, the News Ltd says.
The funding proposal has been discussed recently within two Melbourne hospitals and has been endorsed by health ministers, News Ltd says.
"This payment recognises that patients arriving in the ED (emergency department) who are identified as potential organ donors require medical management to maintain their suitability as donors prior to their transfer to ICU," the program's documentation obtained by News Ltd says.
"This payment applies to potential donors that would not normally be transferred to the ICU as part of their treatment or end-of-life care."
Ethicists are encouraging public debate on the funding proposal.
What are your thoughts? Remember, our major hospitals are government funded, and are currently struggling for funding, so keeping a potential organ donor patient alive when coming into emergency does cost money they actually can often not afford. Our hospitals are held accountable for their expenditure, and are already closing down wards because they cannot afford the staff to keep them open.