Paying Living Organ Donors

Efforts aim to reimburse or pay living organ donors


When Candy Ficht became an organ donor for her cousin at UW Hospital this year, she lost more than a kidney. Donating a kidney set her back more than $5,000, a cost she said she and other living donors shouldn’t face.


“I agree with not getting paid for your kidney, but you should be compensated for what you’re losing,” Ficht said.


Transplant leaders, concerned about a decline of living organ donors — from a peak of 6,991 in 2004 to 5,819 last year — are pushing for reimbursement of donor expenses. The costs, including lost wages, transportation, lodging and child care, typically run about $5,000 to $6,000, reports say.


Private groups help some donors. One is the American Transplant Foundation in Denver, which paid Ficht’s rent and gave Nagel $830 for mortgage and truck payments.


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