Compensation for organ donors?

Live organ donors might, in the future, receive compensation for donating an organ. It is hoped that this will encourage more people to donate an organ while they are still alive. The government is in the process of determining the costs of donating an organ to the donator.
Organs for transplantation usually come from people who have just died, often from people who died in a traffic accident. Everyone in Belgium is a potential organ donor.
A deceased person is only considered not to be a potential donor if they have signed a paper prior to death specifically asking not to be a donor. In the absence of that paper, everyone is a potential organ donor.

Donating organs while still alive is very uncommon in Belgium and usually only happens between family members.

In other countries donating an organ to a person who is not part of the family is more common. Belgium has only 4 live donors per million inhabitants, while in the Netherlands there are 22 per million inhabitants.

The government thinks the reason why live donors are so rare in Belgium may be because the price is so high for a donor: medical costs, possibly loss of income because of time off from work, etc.

The government is studying the costs involved in donating an organ so they can be compensated. It is absolutely not the intention to set up some sort of 'trade in organs', stresses the ministry of Public Health. It is unlawful to make a profit of any kind for relinquishing an organ.