Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Should You Be Able To Sell Your Kidney?

By John Goodman

This should be a no brainer. After all, whose kidney is it anyway?

Apparently there is a thriving international marketplace for kidneys. It keeps buyers alive and gives sellers needed cash. So what are governments doing to assist these efforts? They’re trying to shut the market down.

Internationally, there are about 80,000 kidney transplants performed each year. But demand exceeds supply, resulting in a chronic shortage.  In the United States, the median waiting time for an adult is more than four years and about 4,000 people a year die in this country while they are waiting.

As explained by Kevin Sack in yesterday’s New York Times, only so much of chronic renal failure can be treated with dialysis. Beyond that, patients must seek a transplant. About 40% of those are supplied by cadavers. But living donors are preferable:

“Patients fortunate enough to find a living donor with the right blood type and antigens can avoid the lengthy wait for an organ from a cadaver. Kidneys from living donors are also preferred because they tend to last longer.”

Read the rest here.

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