Friday, November 23, 2012

Why Not Sell Your Kidney for Personal Gain?


The Canadian Society of Transplantation tells on its website a story that is a mirror image of what is happening all over the world. More than two times as many Canadians are on waiting lists for transplant organs than there are suitable donor organs. Reportedly about 200 Canadians died last year while waiting for suitable organs. Most people on the waiting list are desperate for transplant kidneys. South of our border about 80,000 Americans are on waiting lists for kidney transplants. The current situation is not only unacceptable because people die preventable deaths when they could be looking forward to a productive and happy life, it is also immensely wasteful as kidney dialysis is a hugely expensive undertaking. How can we close the gap between the number of patients in need of transplant organs and the availability of suitable organs?

Dead donors
A number of different policies aimed at increasing the number of transplant organs in an ethical manner have been discussed and implemented in various countries around the world. I am personally in favor of an idea currently debated in PEI. The proposal is on the table that we should switch from an opt-in to an opt-out system of consent. The idea here is that for everyone who does not expressly refuse to donate their organs after their demise the reasonable assumption is made that they would be happy to see their organs utilized to preserve a fellow-Canadian’s life. However, some don’t like this proposition. As far as they are concerned, this is not just a question of solidarity but one of ownership. After all, nobody is entitled to take my car after my demise either, just because I have forgotten to stipulate that it should go to my loved-ones.

Living donors
Here is where an alternative idea comes into play: perhaps we should consider incentivizing potential sources of transplant organs, ie people like you and me. I am focusing here primarily on living donor kidneys. We have reasonably persuasive data today suggesting that it is perfectly safe for most healthy people to donate kidneys. As the autonomous owners of our bodies we are entitled to make decisions with regard to how we wish to use our bodies. There are lots of things we are morally and legally entitled to do with our bodies, including engaging in risky activities like playing rugby, scuba diving in shark infested waters and many others. Strangely, when it comes to the use of our bodies for medical research or transplantation purposes, the response we get frequently from religious leaders, medical ethicists and others is that we should contribute from the goodness of our hearts, rather than from a less altruistic motive. Any sensible medical system would focus here on outcomes instead, namely a maximization of the number of available suitable transplant organs, rather then a second-guessing of vendors’ motives. Given that we already accept altruistically motivated living donor kidney donations, it does not strike me as particularly plausible that people should continue to lose their precious lives because of an unreasonable societal squeamishness when it comes to paying people for their spare kidneys for transplantation purposes. 
It is important to recognize that our current system is not working in many ways. Precious lives are unnecessarily lost year after year. Desperate patients travel overseas and obtain kidneys frequently under questionable circumstances, often exploiting vulnerable impoverished people in developing countries. The list goes on. Suffice it to say: leaving things as they are is not a cost neutral choice!

Let’s try it
What I am proposing is to run a pilot program aimed at investigating whether strictly government regulated incentives for living donor transplant kidneys would result in additional available transplant organs with a resultant decrease or elimination of the current waiting lists.  The objective of this pilot program would be two-fold: 1) develop a system that would create successful incentives for organ vendors to offer their spare kidneys while at the same time 2) ensure that sufficient safeguards are put in place to guarantee that whatever incentives are offered do not generate additional harms. Benjamin Hippen, a US based transplant specialist sums up what features a government regulated market for transplant organs should have: It prioritizes the safety of both vendors and recipients; it must be transparent with regard to risks to vendors and recipients; it must safeguard institutional integrity regarding guidelines for cooperating with kidney vendors, and last but not least it must operate under a robust legal framework.

10 comments:

  1. Might work in Canada. I think it would be morally wrong to allow kidney sales in the US where the kidney vendor could, and probably would, be denied health insurance coverage (unless he/she could get it as part of a group, usually though his/her employer).

    Of course, even in wealthy industrialized nations kidney sales would exploit vulnerable impoverished people, but many nasty and even dangerous jobs (coal mining?) already do that, so I suppose that in itself would not make kidney sales immoral, or more immoral than the rest of our economic lives.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My name is Igor, I'm from Western Europe.
    Ready to donate a kidney or part of my liver for good compensation.
    I am a 30 year old man, blood group is O+, I don't drink or smoke.
    I can travel anywhere worldwide to take tests to prove a good health and perform surgery. I will listen offer and conditions of recipient.
    E-mail me:
    igorrotaev@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. AnonymousJune 15, 2013

    I;m Male 32yrs from turkey, i am strong, healthy, non smoker, non alcoholic, no genetics problem,
    i am blood group O +VE, I want to donate my kidney to help any kidney related patients. who will as a return help me back by compensating me

    i got a deep financial mess which i need some money to resolve. any kind heated and serous kidney recipient should contact me

    yusufcam28@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I want to sell my kidney urgent
    A positive blood
    my content number 0092 3228011210
    email Sameer.jani89@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to sell my kidney urgent
    A positive blood
    my content number 0092 3228011210
    email Sameer.jani89@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am looking to sell my kidney. I am 21 years old, 130lbs, in good health and shape, and live in the US. My email is MrWonderful212@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good day,

    Do you want to buy a Kidney or you want to sell your kidney? Are you
    seeking for an opportunity to sell your kidney for money due to
    financial break down and you don’t know what to do, then contact us
    today and we shall offer you good amount for your Kidney. My name is
    Doctor Peter mark am a Phrenologist in Blue cross Hospital. Our
    clinic is specialized in Kidney Surgery and we also deal with buying
    and transplantation of kidneys with a living an corresponding donor.
    We are located in Indian, Turkey, Nigeria, USA, Malaysia. If you are
    interested in selling or buying kidney’s please don’t hesitate to
    contact us via email.

    Email: bluecrosshospital2@gmail.com.

    Best Regards.
    Dr. Peter mark .
    Blue cross Hospital

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello,

    My name is Dr. Calvin Cien from Ubth Specialist Hospital.

    Are you in debt and you want to pay off your debt? Do you want to start up a business? Do you need a new apartment where you can live comfortable and happy? Here is the chance for you to acquire what ever you need that will make you happy and comfortable. Our hospital are rendering services to purchase kidneys from individuals who want to sell their kidneys. This is to inform you that we need individuals who can help in offering their kidney to help our patience who are really in need to buy a kidney for them to survive. We offer the sum of $ 300,000.00 Dollars for a strong and healthy kidney and our branches are located in various countries such as UK, USA, Greece, South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, Portugal e.t.c.

    If you want to sell your kidney, you can simply contact us for more info with the below details.

    Email: Ubthnephrology@gmail.com
    http://ubthspecialisthospital.gnbo.com.ng

    Regards,
    Dr. Calvin Cien


    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm Dr Rex Kelvin by name one of Irrua Specialist Hospital doctor, I have be given the opportunity by the hospital management to advertised on the internet how we work and that we have started again for the year for buying and selling of human organs e.g kidney, If you are out there interested in this offer, Please do not hesitate to contact the hospital at the below email: The irrua specialist hospital are specialist in organs Surgery and as a donor there is no risk in it,And we are located in Nigeria, USA and in Malaysia, but our head office is in Nigeria.
    And this is our email:
    irruaspecialisthospital20@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Welcome to Adewale Hospital do you want to sell your kidney or other organs if yes apply for a sale today and you will be given the maximum satisfaction you need contact me via email: dradewalehospital@outlook.com

    ReplyDelete