The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

The United States federal government should permit the use of financial incentives to encourage orga

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/4/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,883 times Debate No: 15795
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)




I would like to thank my opponent for accepting the debate. The debate will consist of 4 rounds with the first to accept the invite to debate and definitions or provide counter definitions. Best of luck to my competitor!

According to the Business Dictionary, a financial incentive is a monetary benefit offered to consumers, employees and organizations to encourage behavior or actions which otherwise would not take place.

Organ Donation: The donation of an organ from a donor, either dead or alive, to a needy recipient


Hello with this topic I'm assuming your familiar with Public Forum? If so I'd appreciate using that format to debate.

Should is defined by the American Heritage dictionary as: a moral obligation to do something

I agree with your definition of financial incentive.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting my offer to debate. And yes, I am in Public Forum debate. So let's begin.

"More than 6,000 patients die each year while on waiting lists. Demanding patience, when the price of delay is death, is no answer." Because my partner and I strongly agree with this statement by USA Today, we stand in affirmation to the following:

Resolved: The United States federal government should permit the use of financial incentives to encourage organ donation.

Contention 1: Financial incentives eliminate the black organ market.
Georgia Tech Model of United Nations states "the gap between supply and demand for organ transplants is continually increasing. This lack of legally available organs has given way to black market organ trafficking. Desperate patients, unwilling to wait years on a waiting list, are willing to venture outside of the law to obtain the organs they need." Those desperate for organs don't always play by the rules. At UCLA Jagbir Gill, MD, and associates studied patients who had received transplants overseas, and found they had much worse results than patients who received transplants in this country. Screening of paid kidney donors was less thorough, with problems like hepatitis overlooked. Early organ rejection was twice as common and infections frequent. The only way to solve the problem of the illegal organ market is for there to be an increase in the amount of organs available. According to the St. Louis University Journal of Health Law and Policy, "legalizing financial incentives for donation will eliminate black markets, create a safer organ supply, and help ease the shortage of viable organs."

Contention 2: Financial incentives for organ donations are economically beneficial for the donor along with the government
Sub-point A: The donor
"The main reason we support reimbursement is that it's the right thing to do for the living donors," says Dolph Chianchiano Senior VP for Research at the National Kidney Foundation. "It would alleviate some concerns that potential living donors might have." Since some people actually end up losing money when they give an organ, one idea is to take away any financial obstacles that might hinder someone from making a living donation. Donors have the possibility of paying higher premiums from insurance companies, losing wages, and paying out-of-pocket expenses and follow-up care that is not currently accounted for. Donors would not lose monetarily for their altruism but at the same time not benefit financially.
Sub-point B: The US government
Currently, the United States spends money for Medicare on patients who are treated on dialysis and other medical treatments. Money could be saved if the patients stay decreases and the amount of transplants increase. The American Society for Artificial Internal Organs Journal found in 2000 "because kidney transplants are substantially cheaper than dialysis, and thus pays for itself, an increase in supply of organs automatically reduced the costs incurred by the government. For example, a four fold increase in the cadaveric organ donation rate would cost the government $400 million, which is a mere 5 percent of what the government currently spends." An increase in organ donations will subsequently cut at the federal budget, decreasing the amount that our government spends.

Contention 3: Financial incentives help the Uninsured and Impoverished who need organ transplants.
"In the United States, organs are still rationed to a significant extent based on one's ability to pay, giving the wealthy a decided advantage even under current law," states the American Law and Ethics Association in 2005. It goes on to state that "physicians, hospitals, and other transplant service providers are able to adjust prices upwards to take advantage of potential recipients' willingness to pay for life-saving transplants. ABC News says it best stating "patients who are uninsured or unable to pay are sometimes denied lifesaving treatment because hospitals can't afford to foot the bill for the surgery or the extensive recovery. ""Were organ commerce to succeed in bringing more organs to the market, this would allow for more research, which would inevitably lead to lower costs. As the supply of organs increases, the market price for organs will fall accordingly." (Monash University Law Review 2005)
Contention 4: Financial Incentives will save lives.
The major benefit that would come from increasing the organ supply is that there would be a significant reduction in the number of people suffering and dying in hospitals. "Most experts believe that existing donation rates could certainly be tripled" says the ASAIO Journal in 2000. The primary reason for allowing sales in organs is ‘to alleviate man's suffering and therein lies a fundamental contradiction in arguments that are purportedly based on humanitarian grounds." According to the Mayo Clinic, 19 people die each day due to the lack of organs. By affirming this resolution, lives will be saved which cannot be denied.

Because the affirmative provides a solution that does the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people, you must affirm this resolution.


While the shortage of organ donors in the United States is indeed an issue demanding a solution,
financial incentives in order to promote the practice are not the way to go about resolving such a
delicate issue. Therefore, my partner and I negate the resolution
Resolved: The United States federal government should permit the use of financial incentives to
encourage organ donation.

Contention 1. Financial incentives actually decrease donations.
According to Sanders, Devney, Young, and Raffin, "Not only is an incentive-based system
unethical, but payment to the donor family may disproportionately decrease organ donation rates
where they are most needed. Monetary reimbursement destroys the altruism of the donation
process, a component that many donor families find alluring and therapeutic." (Full citation: LM
Sanders, P Devney, E Young, and TA Raffin, An ethically responsible approach to increasing
the organ donation rate, 1992, Chest) One of the biggest benefits derived from organ donation is
the positive feelings that families of the deceased get from helping save lives. Financial
incentives offered to the family could cheapen their feelings of altruism or even destroy them
altogether, leaving donation rates to fall or experience no significant increase. With the organ
donation system in such dire straits, any proposals to reform the system cannot come with the
risk of decreasing the number of organ donors. That is a cost we simply cannot afford.

Contention 2. Organs cannot be treated as commodities.
Although financial incentives do not necessarily mean that a direct cash exchange will take
place, they are still assigned a monetary value in some regard by the use of financial incentives.
According to Dr. Richard A. Demme, "The point is, that if everyone accepts that organs are
commodities like anything else that could be bought or sold, then organs could be treated like
other things of value that we barter. In such a system, it would be logical that creditors might
have a say about what happens to your assets. If you list your organs along with the rest of your
assets, others might have a claim on them, and that is morally repugnant." (Full citation: Richard
A. Demme, Ethical Concerns About an Organ Market, January 2010, Journal of the National
Medical Association) Opening the doorway to financial incentives for organ donation places
organs in a new, exchangeable light. Although human gametes are commonly sold, they are to an
extent renewable tissue and not vital organs. The uniqueness of vital internal organs demands
different ethical standards.

Contention 3. Financial incentives exploit the poor.
Based on the meaning of the word incentive, it is reasonable to argue that the poor will be more
likely to sell their organs, as their financial need would be greater and the incentives thus more
alluring. According to Devney, Sanders, Young, and Raffin, "In other words, a financially
desperate family that holds a moral objection to organ donation may be coerced by a financial
incentive. Since a financial incentive system for organ donation demonstrates the potential for
coercion, it is by definition unethical." (Full citation: LM Sanders, P Devney, E Young, and TA
Raffin, An ethically responsible approach to increasing the organ donation rate, 1992, Chest) A
system that preys on those who are already disadvantaged cannot be allowed to be implemented.
In the event of monetary incentives offered to a family after death, these concerns are still not
assuaged. According to J. Andrew Hughes, "Even payments after death can coerce a poor person through his concern about how his family will survive after his death and lead to donation based
on financial motives rather than altruism--whether the pressure of monetary incentives is internal
to the poor seller or externally applied." (Full citation: J. Andrew Hughes, You Get What You
Pay For? Rethinking U.S. Organ Procurement Policy in Light of Foreign Models, January 2009,
Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law) A system that will unavoidably lead to exploitation is
not an acceptable answer to the problem of the organ donation shortage
Debate Round No. 2


I'm going to be rebutting my opponent's case.

Contention 1: Financial incentives actually decrease donations.

Although this point might seem to make sense, in actuality all my opponent has is ONE assumption made in 1992. As I state in my case, "Most experts believe that existing donation rates could certainly be tripled" according to the ASAIO Journal in 2000. My opponent's case relies on the assumption that many people would be appalled by financial incentives to the point where they wouldn't donate. Actually, most Americans would be further convinced to donate. The National Institutes of Health found, "Financial incentives would have made a difference in the donation decision for 54% of nondonors." Financial incentives do not kill altruism, they assist it. The disincentives of donating, a.k.a the hidden costs of donating, include follow up medical visits, lost time from work, and possible complications from the surgery. Many Americans would like to donate, but they cannot due to the inability to pay for these disincentives. All an affirmative ballot would do is reimburse these donors. Altruism would still be key as giving a part of yourself is still vitally important to the process. As our stats show, Americans see that financial incentives do not destroy altruism. Even if you do not buy this argument, my statistics show that an increase of organs would come and that they would save lives- the biggest showing of altruism. Even if some Americans are convinced to not donate, more people would donate which would save the most lives. My impact outweighs my opponent's.

Contention 2. Organs cannot be treated as commodities.

I completely agree. Treating organs and the human body as commodities is plain wrong. The problem with my opponent's argument is that financial incentives would not turn the body into a commodity. If the resolution stated, "Organ should be able to be bought and sold," I would be in negation. If we look to what I said in my previous rebuttal, thinking of financial incentives as a overt dirty wrong payment for the sale of an organ is naive and overly-pessimistic. All financial incentives would do is essentially reimburse people to take away the disincentives and pay them for putting his or her life at risk to save someone else's. What is wrong with that? The sale of organs is wrong. The reimbursement of organ donation is not. There must be a clear distinction present in the judge's mind. Also, Dr. Richard Demme's point is an argument against an "Organ Market" not financial incentives, therefore should not be considered as adequate evidence. Since financial incentives would not cause an open market as it would be completely regulated by the government, this evidence should be dropped. My opponent is attempting to stress "ethics" and "value to life," but my fourth point wins this point as saving lives is the ultimate preservation of life.

Contention 3: Financial incentives exploit the poor.

The problem with this point is that is blatantly underestimates the poor. The impoverished are completely conscious of their decisions and it would be their own choice. The agreed upon definition of a financial incentive by my opponent is a monetary benefit offered to consumers, employees and organizations to ENCOURAGE behavior or actions which otherwise would not take place. Encouragement and incentives are NOT coercion. Ultimately the decision comes to the donor. Overall the donation process takes usually over a month where the donor is completely briefed on all the possible consequences and details of the surgery and the surgery must have no coercion or it is illegal. To say that impoverished people are not conscious of their own decisions is blatantly insulting. Also, it helps the poor. Now the poor have a way to get money and get out of poverty while saving lives. Regardless, even if the judge is persuaded that financial incentives would overly encourage the poor, my opponent provides no substantial impact that outweighs any of mine.

You have to see through all the pessimistic smoke and mirrors of my opponent who tries to paint a very dim picture of financial incentives. The program would not end up in a supposed "organ market" by any means, but rather would help the recipients who desperately need the organs. People are dying everyday and we need a solution. If you want to save lives, stop the black market, and save money, you must affirm. Thank you.


In regards to my opponents first contention he states negative impacts of the black market organ selling ,but fails to give me a reason the financial incentive will stop the black market. He provides and opinion an expert one maybe ,but someone who is nowhere qualified to be declaring the state of the global black market for organs, and more importantly this financial incentive sounds great but where would this monetary benefit come from? In a time of economic crisis there is no money to handout.

His second contention sub point A I don't see how this is necessarily relevant.

Sub point B) relies on the sole fact that more kidneys would be donated and could save up to 400million dollars well this a huge maybe what if somehow the government does scrape up enough money to offer a financial incentive and somehow someone accepts it then a liver is donated. Then what the government loses money and dosen't gain any, but again he fails to prove where would the money come from and that financial incentives would increase organ donations.

His third contention relies on the fact that people are impoverish, but this isn't an issue due to their need of an organ its a non unique argument that focuses on empathy and not logic. This contention also revolves around the idea well if we somehow get the money and somehow get someone to sell their organ were going to give it away to hospitals and hope they find a cure or give it to the poor a highly theoretical solution again with no source of money or proof of donation increase,but In a very pessimistic view on it would be who pays higher taxes who will help society we need to look at this on a larger scale instead of an individual case.

His fourth contention is based only on the implied fact that organ donations will increase if the government can manage to find the money.My opponents cases revolves around this framework, but he fails to up hold it whatsoever.

Without any proof that the black market will fall, any proof organ donations will increase, any source the financial incentives might come from, the organs donated will save money and the fact the argument is based on empathy.

For all these reasons I negate
Debate Round No. 3


I will be rebutting my opponent's rebuttal and then give you the reasons to vote affirmative.

First my opponent states my first point has no impact and doesn't prove that the black market will vanish. The problem with the status quo is that since so many people are need of organs and the average wait time for an organ can be up to 3 years, many dying patients go to the black market to get organs. The quality of these organs are almost always worse in quality as are the surgeries. This is a direct health risk to those patients and leads to a lot of death. Since the affirmative would drastically increase the organ supply and make organs easier to get, the patients wouldn't need to go to the black market. Though this isn't the biggest impact of the round, it must be considered that even the little things are improved by financial incentives.

Also, he says my first subpoint is not relevant. My subpoint is one of the MOST important points of the debate. It shows why financial incentives are ethical and why they would have such a big impact on potential donors. Most donors are turned off by the disincentives mentioned earlier. The added costs and lost wages from donating discourages a lot of potential donors. Financial incentives should be seen as REIMBURSEMENT and the encouragement of new potential donors, not a sick materialistic gain. Since my opponent obviously had no answer to this critical point, do not listen to any attempt for him to answer this in his next speech. He dropped this point and should be weighed accordingly.

Against my second economic subpoint, my opponent concedes that the economic gain would be "huge." He states that the possible costs of such a system would be more expensive than the benefits. This is a good point and idea, but the facts actually contradict it. The University of Chicago found that, after analyzing the costs and benefits of the system, for every 500 organs gained through this system, it would be a total gain of $30 million for our government due to less money spent on dialysis and other medical costs. My opponent doesn't really address the point but simply expresses doubt. I have just proved what he said I couldn't with evidence. He has provided no contradictory evidence so mine must be weighed throughout the round.

His response to my third argument is contradictory to his case. He says my argument is "empathetical" and not "logical," but his whole case is an appeal to empathy. What my point is saying is that the lowered cost of organs would help the poor, as well as the added financial incentives would help the poor as well. He states we would pay higher taxes, which simply makes no sense and has no evidential backing. The "larger scale" is all the lives that would be saved and would be made better through such a system.

His fourth response simply states that I never proved an increase of organs. All of my statistics have obviously fallen on deaf ears. My National Institute of Health evidence stated that 54% of donors would be more likely to donate and the ASAIO journal predicted the organ supply would TRIPLE. He has only one contradictory source from 1992. I win on recency, more credible evidence, and more evidence.

Why you should vote AFF:
I have simply overrun my opponent with logic and evidence. Even though my opponent makes good arguments, they are mostly centered around a "organ market." Since I proved that an organ market would not arise from financial incentives, you cannot vote neg. I have won on impacts as well. I proved it would reduce black market, which would save lives. He dropped my donor benefit point, and essentially dropped my economic point in general. He has not responded to my lives point, and he has not had any counter evidence to prove his points. You vote AFF because it saves lives and saves money. Even if you vote all of my opponent's points through, which you don't because I have responded to all of them and proved all of them wrong, his impacts simply do not outweigh mine. If you want to save lives and money, you must affirm.

I thank my opponent for a great debate, and the judge for reading through the whole debate.


xvrapple forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by The_Crusader 7 years ago
i believe con copied his case off of this site
i could be wrong or it could be a misunderstanding idk...that or he works with rupe scholars
Posted by liljohnny818 7 years ago
Yeah I understand. I hope everyone else sees it. Great Debate!
Posted by xvrapple 7 years ago
im so sorry i just posted it as the timer ran out i hope you'll atleast look lol
Posted by xvrapple 7 years ago
The first contention of my opponent has no impact because it is an assumption that the black market will go down based on the theory that financial incentives will increase organ donations if the incentives can even be provided

His sub point A he continues to defend if we go through using his altruistic model he provided earlier we can see true altruism would give a little bit of money to be kind. Your giving up an organ to be truly kind you'd give a few dollars as well.

His sub point b. He again says how much the government CAN save due to less spending on on dialysis, but fails to prove an increase in donations will happen, where the money is going to come from he says how much we can save but not where the money that would be needed to provide the incentive in the first place come from, and that the organs donated would be the ones that would save the government money he assumes it will be kidneys or "Other" organs. He says i dont provide counter evidence, because he provided evidence , when in fact he provided evidence that had almost nothing to do with what i was saying. Besides the point pro has the proof of burden to why we should allow the use of financial incentives.

He refutes my refutation saying it dosent make sense. Well let me clarify spreading the organs evenly throughout the populace who needs them would be an ideal thing to do but the best for society. Giving organs to the ""Richer" who pay a larger portion of taxes then the poor would be a pessimistic but the only real way to look at it. He is making sound like the rich receive more benefits. I know this to be true and so do quite alot of other people as well but that is a "problem" with society not organ donations its not a unique problem to United states federal regulations or organ donations.

In regards to his fourth contention he claims that they may increase and its predicted which is all hypothetical but even if you do take this into consideration "Incentives Could Dissuade Donors
Posted by htedrom 7 years ago
hahah did you like when PJ and I did the debate? you should vote on it nobody has yet
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited
Vote Placed by Xenith967 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: i dont like vote bombing people with terrible reasons for voting so im just making it a fair game again
Vote Placed by jimmye 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Batman wins!