Compensating Kidney Donors

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Organ Donation: Legalizing Human Kidney Sales The process of organ donation has existed for many years and throughout that time the system has endured controversies and changes. One of those changes occurred in the late 1960s when the development of immunosuppressive drugs made it possible for people to donate organs to patients who were not related to them (Fentiman 43). This discovery benefited many patients in need of a transplant, but also opened the door to controversies such as organ sales. The first proposal to sell organs came from Virginia physician Dr. H. Barry Jacobs in 1983. He suggested that whoever could afford to buy a kidney should be allowed to do so. As a result of Dr. Jacobs’s proposal, Congress banned the sale of…show more content…
“Ailing, rich patients are buying kidneys from the poor and desperate in burgeoning black markets. Clandestine kidney-sellers get little medical follow-up, buyers often catch hepatitis or HIV, and both endure the consequences of slap-dash surgery” (“Psst, Wanna . . . ” 15). This dangerous alternative provides one example of why the current organ donation system needs to be revised. Another example is that some patients pay to register with internet sites that try to help find organ donors. One site,, charges a lifetime fee of $595 (Postrel 124). Not only do patients spend unnecessary amounts of money on these sites, many who find donors get rejected by hospitals. Hospitals fear that strangers designating a recipient may receive some sort of compensation for their donation (Postrel 124). The refusal of sick patients provides just another reason why the current organ donation system needs to be altered. A new system that provides kidney donors with compensation would correct many of the current system’s problems, and increase the donor pool. The new system would allow donors to sell their kidney at a set price. Kidneys would go to recipients in the same way they do now; through the waiting list, whether the patient is rich or poor. Compensation comes from the recipient’s insurance, such as Medicare. To insure the safety of the reciepient and donor, every donor would be medically and
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