For years, we've all been inundated with pleas from health organizations to become organ donors.
Unfortunately, for a variety reasons, those campaigns don't seem to be working.
So, how about trying another tactic? How about cash for donors?
According to a survey conducted last Fall, a large number of Canadians actually think that's a good idea.
The survey of 2,004 members of the Canadian public, 339 health professionals, and 268 people with or affected by kidney disease will be published in the upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Here are the survey results, as summarized by Science Daily:
"• 70 per cent and 40 per cent of respondents found financial incentives to be acceptable for deceased and living donors, respectively.
• 45 per cent, 14 per cent, and 27 per cent of the public, health professionals, and people with or affected by kidney disease, respectively, supported monetary payment as a financial incentive for living donors.
• Overall, reimbursement of funeral expenses for deceased donors and a tax break for living donors were the most acceptable forms of financial incentives."
While buying and selling organs in Canada is strictly prohibited, University of Calgary's Dr. Braden Manns, who co-authored the study, suggests that it's time governments explore the option of financial incentives for donors.
[ Related: Transplanting lungs from smokers worthwhile ]
"We're not talking about buying and selling organs in a hotel room.What we're talking about is a third-party regulator that would offer compensation," he told the Calgary Herald.
"Even with current system where we ask people to come forward out of the goodness of their heart, we are clearly not getting enough organs. One incentive we know people generally respond to — they generally respond to financial incentives."
According to the Canadian Society of Transplantation, more than 4,000 Canadians are waiting for an organ transplant to save their lives with three quarters of the patients waiting for new kidneys.
They also claim that, last year, 195 Canadians died while waiting for a transplant.
How much for a kidney?
A 2007 study in the United States suggests that the"equilibrium price" to compensate living donors for the "risk of death, foregone wages, and reduced quality life" would be about $15,000 per kidney.
Would you do it for that price?
[ Related: 6 organ donor facts from a cycling medical student ]