Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law
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Abstract Many of those who support organ donation do not register to become organ donors. The use of reciprocity systems, under which some degree of priorityis offered to registered donors who require an organ transplant, is one suggestion for increasing registration rates. This article uses a combination of survey and focus group methodologies to explore the reaction of Canadians to a reciprocity proposal. Our results suggest that the response is mixed. Participants are more convinced of the efficacy than they are of the fairness of a reciprocity system. Those more positive about donation (decided donors and those leaning toward donation) rate the system more positively. Although there is general endorsement of the notion that those who wish to receive should be prepared to give (the Golden Rule), this does not translate into universal support for a reciprocity system. In discussions of efficacy, decided donors focus on the positive impact of reciprocity, whereas undecided donors also reflect on the limits of reciprocity for promoting registration. The results demonstrate divided support for reciprocity systems in the Canadian context, with perceptions of efficacy at the cost of fairness. Further studies are warranted prior to considering a reciprocity system in Canada.