Does Presumed Consent Save Lives? Evidence from Europe

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One policy tool that could affect organ donation rates is legislative defaults. In this study, we examine how presumed consent impacts cadaveric donations and kidney transplantations, using a panel dataset from the EU-27 countries plus Croatia in the period 2000–2010. We find that presumed consent countries have 28% to 32% higher cadaveric donation and 27% to 31% higher kidney transplant rates in comparison to informed consent countries, after accounting for potential confounding factors. After studying willingness to donate one's organs and registering preferences for organ donation, we find that presumed consent could increase cadaveric donation rates, because people fail to register their preferences and many have no preference for organ donation. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


JEL Classification: I18; K32; D82

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