NU Online News Service, Aug. 19, 4:03 p.m. – The American Medical News, a newspaper published by the American Medical Association, Chicago, says the federal government should study the idea of creating financial incentives for organ donors and donors’ family members.

An editorial in the Aug. 19 issue of the newspaper recommends that Congress give the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services permission to fund financial incentive studies.

The department needs congressional approval because the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 makes it illegal to compensate donors and their relatives for organs, the American Medical News says.

The newspaper cites studies funded by organizations other than HHS that suggest that payments of as little as $1,000 to relatives of the dead might be enough to obtain almost enough kidneys to eliminate U.S. kidney waiting lists.