T Nation

Organ Market

What are your thoughts on the idea of opening up markets to allow people to sell their kidneys?

It will never work, the main reason people give is altruism. The overwhelming consensus among donor families is don’t cheapen it.

Are you talking about living donors? In that case help with their medical/living expenses is another story. It is often a hardship on the donor.

With the advances in science would this really even be necessary in the near future.

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
With the advances in science would this really even be necessary in the near future.[/quote]

Yes, unless you know of some recent developments to the contrary. There is a critical shortage of viable organs.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
It will never work, the main reason people give is altruism. The overwhelming consensus among donor families is don’t cheapen it.

Are you talking about living donors? In that case help with their medical/living expenses is another story. It is often a hardship on the donor.[/quote]

Yeah if I want sell my kidney to a hospital where they harvest my kidney in advance. I make out with $$$ and less people die waiting for a transplant. What’s the downside?

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
With the advances in science would this really even be necessary in the near future.[/quote]

Yes, unless you know of some recent developments to the contrary. There is a critical shortage of viable organs.
[/quote]

Exactly.

Right now it’s so hard to even use organs from organ donors. Most often than not the circumstances of the donors death do not allow for it

check out the movie “Repo Men” with Jude Law and Forrest Whitaker.

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
It will never work, the main reason people give is altruism. The overwhelming consensus among donor families is don’t cheapen it.

Are you talking about living donors? In that case help with their medical/living expenses is another story. It is often a hardship on the donor.[/quote]

Yeah if I want sell my kidney to a hospital where they harvest my kidney in advance. I make out with $$$ and less people die waiting for a transplant. What’s the downside?

[/quote]

So you are talking about a for profit system for bodily organs?

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
It will never work, the main reason people give is altruism. The overwhelming consensus among donor families is don’t cheapen it.

Are you talking about living donors? In that case help with their medical/living expenses is another story. It is often a hardship on the donor.[/quote]

Yeah if I want sell my kidney to a hospital where they harvest my kidney in advance. I make out with $$$ and less people die waiting for a transplant. What’s the downside?

[/quote]

So you are talking about a for profit system for bodily organs?[/quote]

Yes

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

So you are talking about a for profit system for bodily organs?[/quote]

This is something I’m in favor of. In fact, we have a for profit system for bodily organs right now. The doctors, and hospitals, and medical supplies companies, and drug companies all get paid for their work in organ donation. The only party that doesn’t get paid is the donor. I think a system whereby the donors estate receives a stipend would cause many more people to be willing to allow others the use of their organs after death.

A more complicated system would be one where a donor was paid while still living and then entered into a formal agreement describing how their body would be disposed of upon their death. If the organs weren’t usable, that would represent a loss to the company that paid out for the organs. If some or all of the organs were usable, this would represent a profit.

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

So you are talking about a for profit system for bodily organs?[/quote]

I think a system whereby the donors estate receives a stipend would cause many more people to be willing to allow others the use of their organs after death.

[/quote]

While on the surface it seems this would be the case, it leaves a bad taste in the donor families mouth.

Just for a little history my dad was a Kidney recipient and my wife worked for seventeen years as director of public education for the Michigan transplantation society.

This is a subject I am all too familiar with as I have met A LOT of donor families and the overriding theme is that there was something positive to come out of their loved ones death and money would have cheapened it.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
While on the surface it seems this would be the case, it leaves a bad taste in the donor families mouth.

Just for a little history my dad was a Kidney recipient and my wife worked for seventeen years as director of public education for the Michigan transplantation society.

This is a subject I am all too familiar with as I have met A LOT of donor families and the overriding theme is that there was something positive to come out of their loved ones death and money would have cheapened it.
[/quote]

I appreciate that sentiment, truly. And I hope your dad is doing well.

But what about those families whose loved ones haven’t yet received a transplant because one is not available? Do you think a stipend to the family of the donor cheapens a kidney that otherwise would not have been make available?

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
While on the surface it seems this would be the case, it leaves a bad taste in the donor families mouth.

Just for a little history my dad was a Kidney recipient and my wife worked for seventeen years as director of public education for the Michigan transplantation society.

This is a subject I am all too familiar with as I have met A LOT of donor families and the overriding theme is that there was something positive to come out of their loved ones death and money would have cheapened it.
[/quote]

I appreciate that sentiment, truly. And I hope your dad is doing well.

But what about those families whose loved ones haven’t yet received a transplant because one is not available? Do you think a stipend to the family of the donor cheapens a kidney that otherwise would not have been make available?
[/quote]

Thank you but he is long deceased.

I do think you would lose just as many if not more than you gained. Mind you I am not personally against remuneration, for the reasons you mentioned before, but it just such an emotional issue. There is actually a donor family awareness meeting every year where people come and talk about what the experience of giving and how important the altruism aspect is.

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
It will never work, the main reason people give is altruism. The overwhelming consensus among donor families is don’t cheapen it.

Are you talking about living donors? In that case help with their medical/living expenses is another story. It is often a hardship on the donor.[/quote]

Yeah if I want sell my kidney to a hospital where they harvest my kidney in advance. I make out with $$$ and less people die waiting for a transplant. What’s the downside?

[/quote]

So you are talking about a for profit system for bodily organs?[/quote]

Yes
[/quote]

That would be a point of no return in my opinion. We as a society would end up in a place that only those that can afford to purchase the organs would be able to do this.