Should Organ Donors Be Paid?

This was the Good Question the other night and I thought to myself, why not? What do you think? Do you think you should be able to accept money for an organ?

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15 Responses to Should Organ Donors Be Paid?

  1. mssc54 says:

    “Donars” don’t sell, they donate. However, they should not incure any expenses either.

  2. Joy says:

    I’m not really sure I see why not. They let you sell blood, bone marrow and semen. Why not an organ if you’re healthy and want to?

    • Laura says:

      Because blood, bone marrow and semen will regenerate themselves, and you can survive with them slightly depleted for the duration of the regeneration. A desperate person, plus a less-than-honorable doctor could mean some pretty bad news for someone wanting to sell an organ…

    • Joy says:

      Very good point. Chalk one up for you. You still can’t open your present!

    • mssc54 says:

      The blood, bone marrow and seman are done in bulk. You don’t know where it’s going. Right?

      Where as with organs, they are specific to an individual. Therefore selling organs could easily resort in who ever has the fattest wallet or biggest purse getting the organ. Right?

  3. SKL says:

    My mom told me that long ago, they used to pay people to donate blood. The reason they stopped was that the people who were lining up to sell their blood were people who were desperate for a few bucks, and a lot of these were druggies, etc. – hence a lot of the blood was not useable, and as we know, there is a risk that bad blood (or organs) could accidentally be used and cause more problems for the recipient.

    Today, they probably have better tests to screen prospective donors. However, it would be a costly endeavor if the majority of people trying to sell their organs didn’t actually have useable organs. Also, mistakes happen. Recently I heard of someone who donated organs and they ended up spreading some deadly disease to multiple recipients.

    I would also want to be sure they were managing the process right. Just because a million people might line up to donate their organs doesn’t mean you take them, first come first served. They need to be matched with the right recipient and handled a certain way. A lot of the people who sign up to sell their organs may not in fact find a buyer.

    I don’t think people should be allowed to sell to the highest bidder. The organs should be made available based on need, not on who has the most money.

    But maybe they could find some way to offer just the right kind of incentive to result in more match-ups without increasing costs and risks too much. It’s a nice thought, if they could do it right.

  4. Laura says:

    I really don’t know, beyond what I said above about shady “dealers” and doctors.
    I suppose, following that line of thought, you could also have the criminal element enter into it… people grabbing others to butcher them up for their organs (geez, I should really stop watching CSI…). But, unfortunately, wherever profit is involved, you have corruption and crime.

    I agree, however, that something should be done to increase the number of organs available. I think it’s pathetic that there are so many people sitting on a waiting list, because regular people refuse to donate. Honestly, how many people are put in the ground or cremated, completely intact? Why NOT donate? I know it would be wickedly controversial, and probably against a bunch of religions, by why not make it mandatory to harvest healthy organs off of dead people? Sick, maybe, but it could sure cut down on that waiting list.

    I don’t have a real answer, though. I do know that donors do not incur any medical bills during the process of a donation, so I suppose that could be considered a form of payment. (hell yeah!! I wanna stay in a hospital for a week, in excruciating pain after being cut open and having vitals removed!!)

    (really. I should just go to bed now. No good can come of me staying up any longer)

    • SKL says:

      I remember my mom once telling me how disturbed she was at a loved one’s funeral, knowing what had been removed from the body. So since my parents will have to come to my funeral if I die any time soon, I would leave it up to them whether or not to donate my organs. If I survive them, I’ll put “organ donor” on my drivers’ license.

      But even then, it’s not usual that a person with healthy organs dies in conditions ideal for organ harvesting.

      (This topic is getting morbid . . . . )

      • Sue says:

        A lot of people have issues with having parts removed from them and that’s why they choose not to donate. I don’t want another law that tells me what I have to do with my body parts once I’m deceased either. That’s too much for me!

  5. SKL says:

    Honestly, I am not lining up to donate my organs while alive. Not until they figure out a way to convince me that (a) the organs will certainly help an actual human and (b) I’ll be as healthy after as before. I have kids to raise. Now if in fact it’s very safe and efficient, they need to market that.

    I know of a family where the mom donated her kidney to one of her daughters. What if she had donated it to someone else already? It’s nice of God to give us each two, but I could understand why someone might want to save their extra one for a family member should the need arise.

  6. Nikki says:

    I don’t see why not?? If it gets more people to donate, then sure. But I agree with the above, there should be a set price just like there is for bone marrow (I think!). Organ donation saves so many life, and it’s such a sacrifice and risk they are willing to make-sometimes for people they don’t even know. I wouldn’t be upset if they were paid for it.

  7. Sue says:

    There is a young lady in our community (who I’ve been friends with for a long time) who ended up with the rare disorder TTP. Her kidneys failed and she has spent too much time in the hospital. This past spring, after being on the donor list for a long time and not being “sick enough” to be at the top, her family members started being tested for possible matches. 2 of her sisters were a match (one she doesn’t speak to so she wouldn’t even consider it-sad isn’t it?). The other sister said, absolutely I’d donate my kidney for you, but had to loose a lot of weight and get her own health up to snuff b/4 they would consider it. She worked really hard and they had their donation/transplant earlier this summer. The young lady who was so sick is doing great, while the sister who was healthy, started having complications. I saw them over the summer and the sister who donated said it was the easiest decision she ever made, but the hardest thing she’s done b/c she thought she’d rebound faster than she was and then she put it in perspective that her sister had been feeling like this for a LONG time and she can’t believe she lived like that for so long.

    I don’t think donors should be paid b/c like Michael said, they’re DONORS and there are too many scary things that could happen and if someone is going to cut me open and take an organ, they better be legit and know what they’re doing!

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