Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Israel Acts to Increase Organ Donation

IsraelThe Knesset has recently approved two laws aimed at increasing the number of organ donations made by the citizens of Israel.

The following is from Amnon Meranda, Knesset approves organ donation law, Ynetnews.com, March 25, 2008:

The first law on brain and respiratory death states that brain death would be defined as death with all its implications. * * *

The issue of defining the time of death was raised in an attempt to encourage the religious public to donate organs. Members of the Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee sought to reach an agreement with the Chief Rabbinate and rabbinical religious authorities on a definition of the donor's death.

MK Otniel Schneller * * * the bill's initiator, held negotiations over the past few months with different elements in the haredi world and among the religious public before reaching the historic agreement that led to the formation of a law defining brain death.

According to the law, the time of brain-respiratory death will be in a situation when the person is proclaimed dead by two certified doctors, according to fixed parameters (no blood pressure, failure to breathe without need for life support, no response from the pupils and an absence of other reflexes). * * *

The [second] new law states that a living person who donated his organs will receive the status of a chronic patient after the donation is made, and will not have to pay the self-participation fee for any medical service resulting from the donation, in addition to NIS 18,000 (about $5,100) in compensation from the State.

In addition, the donor will be entitled to a recovery of expenses for psychological treatment and a recovery leave, and will receive a merit certificate from the State. The donor will also be exempted from paying the entrance fee to nature reserves and national parks. * * *

The law includes an innovative clause giving preference to people who sign the donor card should they be in need of an organ transplant in the future.

Note that this latter provision matches the philosophy behind the LifeSharers organization in the United States.


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