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Another Organ Incentive, and … Funeral Insurance?

We’ve written repeatedly on the shortage of human organs for transplantation, and the different incentives that are being offered to produce more donated organs. Among the incentives: a commemorative medal and a shorter prison term. Now a reader named Ronald Wielink writes to tell us that in the Netherlands, a funeral insurance company is offering to cut funeral costs by 150 euros if the deceased has donated an organ. (Here’s a brief link in English; here’s one in Dutch.)

As Wielink explains, this incentive came about from urging by the Kidney Foundation charity. The donors get either a discount on their funeral insurance or a discount on the burial cost itself. “There are also some M.P.’s,” he writes, “who propose that organ donors should get a discount on government fees, e.g. getting a passport.”

I had two initial reactions to hearing about this incentive:

1. Creating a connection between donating an organ and your own death wouldn’t seem to be the most appealing incentive.

2. Funeral insurance? What the heck is funeral insurance? Surely such folly doesn’t exist in the U.S., right? Wrong. As someone who tries to buy as little insurance as humanly possible, I cannot think of many forms of insurance that are less worthwhile. Can you?

(Hat tip to Dan Sage too; also, Marginal Revolution blogged about this a while back.)