A private member’s bill that would give priority for receiving transplant organs
to those who donated one of their own (kidneys or liver lobes) to others,
including relatives, was approved Monday by the Knesset Labor, Welfare and
Health Committee for its first reading in the plenum.
The bill, initiated
by Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On and committee chairman Haim Katz (Likud), expands the
giving of extra points to people who register as potential organ donors through
ADI, the National Transplant Center.
Gal-On said that those who give
their own organ go through such a difficult process, and there is “no difference
in suffering between those who gave to a stranger and those who donated to a
The bill has received government support, she
Dina Abecassis, who gave a kidney to her sick brother 15 years
ago, said that her rehabilitation from the operation took more than three
“Family members should be encouraged to donate, because this
involves 99 percent compatibility. I call on making this change retroactive to
benefit those who have already donated, as I did, and not only from when the law
Amos Kanaf, chairman of the National Association for Kidney
Recipients, said that today, “people donate organs because they have no choice,
as there are almost no such organs from the deceased. At least relatives who
give should be compensated.”
Health Ministry legal department
representative Meir Broder welcomed the bill, adding that people who donate
their own organs are at some health risk, and knowing they have higher priority
to receive an organ gets a safety net.
Katz said that “hundreds of
patients are waiting now for a donated organ, and the bill we presented makes it
possible for relatives to give. As the legislative process continues, we will
discuss the possibility of including family members who have already donated to
their loved ones.”
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