Get Off Dialysis: Buy Your Third-World Kidney Here

Here we are, only a couple of weeks after my “Get off Dialysis: buy a kidney” post, and this comment arrived:

hey everyone… my name is jay d. macacua of Philippines…..! i am 23 yrs old and i would like to sell my kidney….! i am serious my blood type is A and I am willing to sell my one healthy kidney just drop a call on me here is my phone number *********** thanks and I am looking more forward to help.. just call me

All new posts must be approved before they go onto the blog, and when I saw this one I didn’t really know how to respond. It is illegal to pay for body parts in Australia and most of the world (except Iran). However, I believe that we need a better, ethically oriented incentive system to promote organ donation and publishing this offer could add some light to the debate…

So rather than simply publish, I decided to make it the subject of this week’s post.

While it is unethical (and some say immoral) to buy a replacement organ, there is clearly a market. There are many economic donors like Jay, who simply need the money. However, most research done about these donors shows that they usually receive no lasting benefit. The money arrives, and because it makes no real change to their lives (it is used to pay off debt or to make a splash), it is quickly spent and they are back where they began, only with one less kidney. This outcome simply reinforces the unethical nature of the transaction.

But what if part of the deal included a legal responsibility to help economic donors improve their life, at least as much as the donation would improve the recipient’s life? What if the recipient got to know all about the donor and his life: what he needs, why he is donating, how the money could be used to help him and his family? He could then help the donor use the money as a catalyst for change: to buy an education for a job, or a better job, to start a business, to migrate to a safer country, etc. He could also offer his resources, his knowledge, and his network, to provide the donor with ongoing advice and support.

Would the transaction still be unethical?

This approach need not be restricted to third-world countries. As has been noted elsewhere, western governments could establish similar arrangements to even out the transaction, and thus promote organ donations in their countries. Arrangements like tax breaks, guaranteed health insurance, college/university scholarships for the donor’s children, deposits in their retirement/ superannuation accounts, and so on.

Not to mention establishing the same social arrangement, where the recipient has a social obligation to the donor. After all, if someone gives you the gift of life, surely it’s not too much to ask to keep in touch and help out where you can.

There are two big arguments for better organ donation incentives: the financial – million dollar reductions in the cost to the health services, and the human – the opportunity for thousands of recipients to resume productive, fruitful lives.

All we need is the right model, based on a healthy mix of the ethical and the practical.

One thought on “Get Off Dialysis: Buy Your Third-World Kidney Here

  1. Hi My name is Adam Hagen I am planing to start a business supplying kidney shaped balloons to kidney related groups and organizations around the world. These balloons can be used to spice up events like world kidney day and the grand opening or anniversary of a dialysis unit,etc.

    I have only just begun.You are one of the first few people I have contacted so far,I am trying to find out how large the demand for kidney shaped balloons really is. I need to know this because I want to manufacture the balloons myself instead of paying an already established balloon manufacturer to make them. The reason I want to start my own manufacturing of the balloons is, I want this business that I start to be dedicated to dealing with kidney organizations solely. Balloon manufacturers will quickly make this just another notch in their belt. I want to make this an added fun way for kidney associations to create awareness and generate donations for their specific group or organization.

    I also want to be able to reduce the mark up of the price of the balloons by manufacturing them myself. I don’t want all the profit from the manufacturing of the balloons to go in the pocket of some balloon manufacturer, I want to ensure that a substantial amount is donated to help fight kidney cancer and kidney disease!!

    One way kidney shaped balloons can pay for themselves and create awareness and also generate money to help individual kidney organizations stay in the fight is by organizing a balloon release.

    I will try to keep this short I know your time is valuable. First latex balloons are just as biodegradable as an oak leaf,because they are made from the sap of the rubber tree. When a helium balloon is released it reaches an altitude of about five miles then it freezes and bursts into spaghetti like pieces and falls back to earth. “I didn’t know that until just a few days ago!”

    OK back to the balloon release/distance competition.The kidney shaped balloons will be offered at kidney events at the request of a donation of any size, if the person giving the donation wants a receipt for tax purposes NO PROBLEM. The balloons will have a biodegradable tag connected to it after inflation. The tag will be perforated in the middle and have two identical halves, each having the same number and instructions to go to a website to claim their prize. The website will be completely kidney oriented leaving no question as to the true reason for the tag being found (FIGHTING KIDNEY ILNESS). There will be a link for donating directly to the organization that launched the kidney shaped balloon. The web site will be equipped with Google Earth maps. When the number on the ticket is entered the correct map will appear. After the finder pinpoints on the map the exact spot and time the kidney tag was picked up a kidney shape marker will appear, then ground zero where the balloon was launched from and what time will appear on the screen. The balloon or tag that made it the farthest from the outside of the launch circle wins. The person that launched the balloon and the person finding the tag will receive a prize and maybe some runner up positions also.

    Giving the finder a reward is the incentive for picking up the balloon/tag and logging in to the web site. The prizes are donated by sponsors that are allowed to advertise on the website. When a organization orders kidney shape balloons the web site comes with the balloons. An authorization number will allow access to a part of the website giving control of easy to use functions like adding your own local business advertisements and organization contact information including paypal or your choice of donation options.

    I KNOW I said I would keep it short so I will let you think about what I have said and if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me .Thank you for your time sincerely Adam Hagen

    PS This is not everything there is more! If you want to contact me


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s