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Cadaveric vs. Live-Donor Kidney Transplants: Theoretical Foundations of Interaction between Institutions and Inequality

PAM, Vol. 12 No. 2, (2007)

In 1991, the World Health Assembly approved a set of Guiding Principles which emphasize voluntary donation, non-commercialization and a preference for cadavers over living donors” (World Health Organization). The objective of this paper is to identify the factors that affect the ratio of cadaveric transplants to all transplants. This paper first provides informational background on problems surrounding kidney transplants and then uses a theoretical framework which employs standard economic assumptions but incorporates a setup where the persons needing kidneys can obtain it from their compatible relatives or purchase it from individuals who are willing to sell one of their kidneys. The methods of economic theoretical analyses are used where following definitions and assumptions some conclusions are drawn. This paper finds that factors such as inequality, rule of law and religion have significant effect on the ratio of cadaveric transplants to all transplants. The paper concludes that improvement in equality and in rule of law will increase the use of cadaveric kidney transplants. In addition, fighting religious beliefs against cadaveric kidney transplants too will lead to a higher ratio of cadaveric transplants to all transplants.

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