Organ Donation and Priority Points in Israel: An Ethical Analysis

Muireann Quigley, Linda Wright, Vardit Ravitsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
130 Downloads (Pure)


Israel's rates of organ donation have been one of the lowest among developed countries. An attempt to change this has led to the introduction of a pioneering new law, the Organ Transplant Act 2008, which came into effect in January 2010 and sets out principles underlying a new policy in relation to the allocation of organs for transplantation. According to this policy, a person can gain priority points by signing a donor card, making a nondirected organ donation during their lifetime, or as a result of a first-degree relative signing a donor card, or consenting to procurement of organs after death. In this opinion piece, we argue that although this approach merits attention for its innovative aspects and its potential benefits, it raises some ethical difficulties. In particular, we discuss some problems of justice and fairness inherent in the system, focusing on inequalities because of the (a) number of relatives one might have, (b) the type of living donation one makes, (c) the potential for strategic behavior, and (d) problems regarding the consent of family members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-3
Number of pages4
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2012


  • Ethical Analysis
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Living Donors
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement
  • Editorial


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