Faced with the nation's worst shortage of organs available for transplants, Gov. Ben Cayetano is floating an idea where state government would pay the families of organ donors.
Cayetano, speaking last week at an unveiling of a commemorative stamp for the National Kidney Foundation, said new approaches are needed in the island state, which ranks last in donations. Since Jan. 1, there have only been seven organs donated."This has been discussed in the past and people all thought it was a macabre idea, but let's be practical about things, let's think about things because we can help people," he said.
Hawaii is too far from the mainland to import organs, officials say.
Glen Hayashida, executive director of the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, said the national organization opposes any payments for donated organs.
State Sen. Andy Levin said he would approach such an idea very cautiously.