Would You Sell Your Kidney For $3600?

The front page of the Sunday Mail asked the question ‘Would You Sell Your Kidney?’ and I expected it to be a story about black market organ sales…..oh but I was so wrong!

The Australian government is going to pay living organ doners a 6 seek wage, up to $3600.00 in an attempt to reduce the waiting list for people who are in desperate need for a healthy kidney.

Dialysis keeps people alive, but it is not a fun way to live. Hours are spent in hospital hooked up to a machine that does the job your kidneys are designed to do. Unfortunately it is not the perfect solution. It gives many a chance to considerably extend their life, but eventually most succumb to renal failure. I have had a someone close to me go through this. He never got the ‘call’, and he died way to young.

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To be eligible for this payment, you must be alive and employed as the payment will be distributed by your employer. Are the unemployed peoples kidney’s not good enough? This payment is also available to those who would give part of their liver.

The selling and buying of organs is illegal in this country, and so it should be, desperate people will go to any lengths to relieve their suffering, but is this a practical way to find organ doners?

This is major surgery, will high risks. Is $3600.00 enough to take such a risk? Would you do it?

Giving the gift of life to another through organ donation is the ultimate gift, and family members who donate for one of their own, make that gift with love, and admire their strength.

Our family have all agreed, that when it is time, they can have any part of us that could be of assistance to another.

Surely there must be other steps we can take to increase the organ donation rate in this country.

At the moment, if you want to be an organ doner, you have to elect to be one. Why not turn that around, and make it that everyone is an organ doner, and if for religious reasons, moral ethics or simply personal choice, you can nominate to NOT be a doner, but you then have to make the effort to not be one, instead of the other way around.

This is one conversation that every family should have, so that the exact wishes of every person is well known. The pressure put on surviving family members at the unfortunate time of someone’s passing, to make the decision either way, is a tough one. Many valuable organs never have the chance to help another, because the family can’t say YES.

Does your family know what your desires are when it comes to organ donation?

Sharing today for #FYBF at With Some Grace

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Di Riddell
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 17:57:47

    I am horrified…that organs are ‘for sale’ so to speak!

    Not sure of the point of paying the employer … and does something happen to your kidney if you become unemployed? Surely the reason could not be that they are doing it for the money……

    My beliefs are very strong that it is a potential danger anytime you go under an anaesthetic…let alone give a kidney away at the same time…a double whammy!

    Exploring making all a donor at the point of death has some merit…and I would happily make my organs available at that time.

    I will be interested to hear others view on the subject.

    Reply

  2. Sara
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 18:15:13

    Wow, that is an odd way of encouraging folks to donate their organs. I don’t understand why you have to be employed to donate a kidney?

    Not sure I understand what that has to do with a healthy kidney unless they assume that because you are unemployed you are less than healthy.

    I like your idea of making everyone donors and having to sign something to opt out of it instead of the current system.

    I’m thinking it isn’t on people’s minds because they have yet to need a kidney or other organ.

    Reply

  3. skybluepinkish
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 18:32:13

    I had to check the date. Is this genuine? I am, rarely for me, quite speechless.

    Reply

  4. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 06:25:24

    I wouldn’t do it for money. I would do it for reasons far greater than money. I can see the appeal though …
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    Reply

  5. Pauline
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 09:34:24

    Well, by paying for the time the person has off, they’re not actually offering to pay for the kidney itself (or liver). They’re removing one obstacle – that people can’t afford to take the time off to heal from this surgery.

    The gift itself, the risks etc are not “paid for”. Only the time to heal. If the unemployed get the special status that they can get sickness benefits and be exempt from looking for work for that six weeks as well, then it’s fair.

    I agree, organ donation should be easy, and it should be an accepted thing, because it’s hard enough for family members to think of the death of a loved one, without “the conversation” of “can we have their organs, please?” Let it be something that is a given…

    Reply

  6. Melinda
    Apr 11, 2013 @ 04:33:12

    I would give my kidney to a loved one, but sell it? I don’t know. You make a good point about making your wishes known to your family. So many people fail to do that. Good post.

    Reply

  7. BekkaPoo
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 05:02:57

    Ick… sorry, I think this is just an invitation to disaster. What’s the next step? Forcing everyone to donate their organs? It should always be a personal choice. And like others have mentioned, the donor could also potentially become ill from the after effects of the surgery, the recovery, etc. What happens if they become ill? Will they get first dibs on any new kidneys? I know the need is great for organs, but there has to be a better way to get them.

    Reply

  8. Heather
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 06:01:24

    I don’t know that getting paid to give away a kidney or part of your liver is a good idea, at any level. People would start doing this for the money, rather than from the goodness of their hearts. Also, what if down the road a family member needed a kidney, you were a perfect match, but now you cannot help them because you have already “sold” a kidney? Organ donation at the time of death is a great idea. At that point you don’t need them, and you can help save a life.

    If you want to “give” of yourself, consider blood donation. It is always needed and you can give several times a year.

    Reply

  9. Emily
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 14:01:13

    Sorry, I have to disagree. I don’t see it as selling a kidney. I see it as properly realising that people who agree to donation will have to take significant time off work to do so and to recover, and ensuring that they’re not financially disadvantaged.

    They’re not enticing people with money. They’re removing the barrier that may stop those who can’t afford to lose their income while medically unable to work. This is why the unemployed aren’t offered it – it’s not a ‘bonus’ like the baby bonus.

    And paying the employer is exactly what happens with the maternity leave scheme as well. The employer is paid, they pay you, and this way you don’t lose years of service or any other work entitlements.

    Totally agree re: organ donation. If you’re a donor, tell EVERYONE! Make it known. It’s such an important discussion to have.

    Forgive the rant. As you can tell, I’m quite passionate about organ donation! Thanks for encouraging the discussion.

    Reply

  10. Rohit Sharma
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 15:29:06

    I won’t sell!

    I may donate it for my own reasons…

    I guess no one will sell your body organ unless he or she is in some major financial trouble..

    Reply

  11. Jon Rhodes
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 16:53:10

    Hi Nikki. I’ve always had a different take on the idea of organ donation. Why not have it so that if you register as a donator, you get priority should you ever need one yourself. I bet this would seriously increase the amount of willing donators.

    Why should someone who is not prepared to give one of theirs away in the event of their death, have equal footing in the queue for these precious and scarce life savers?

    Reply

  12. The Great Gordino
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 20:32:26

    Hi,
    3600 is not enough to tempt me!
    I suspect it would tempt many though, which might be worrying – how long before the first death after such an operation, and the media firestorm to follow?

    I think in Northern Ireland they are trialling being a donor by default, that you have to opt *out*, otherwise your organs will be used?
    Important subject for sure,
    Cheers,
    Gordon

    Reply

    • Nikki
      Apr 15, 2013 @ 17:07:38

      Thanks Gordon, I think the ‘opt out’ option is a great plan, if you are really serious about not donating, you simply elect too, but all those other valuable organs can change sooooooo many lives. :)

      Reply

  13. Lara @ This Charming Mum
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 21:21:24

    I think the shock headlines have detracted from the real issue on this one, sadly. My first reaction was horror at the thought of organs ‘for sale’, but when I thought about it as a sort of ‘compensation’ for a loved one who might be off work for several weeks post-op, it made a lot more sense. At least such headlines do get more of us talking about our own final wishes.

    Reply

    • Nikki
      Apr 15, 2013 @ 17:06:18

      That’s just it Lara, the article did not mention whether it was only if you are donating to a friend or loved one, or whether it is open slather.

      Reply

  14. Lacy
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 23:12:40

    I would that guess the stipulation that people be employed is to discourage the impoverished from selling their organs just for the money—the way some people sell blood.

    I like your idea of making organ donation default and then being able to opt out is better, because the $3600 doesn’t take into account any possible future complications from only having one kidney! That doesn’t happen to everyone, but certainly happens to some.

    Reply

  15. Lynn Spiro
    Apr 13, 2013 @ 02:04:39

    Nikki,

    I found your blog post very interesting. It certainly provokes thought and maybe even controversy, but I like posts that do that!

    Like the idea to make everyone a donor and those who wish to opt out should.
    And every family should have this conversation! I have had it in mine: my two sons, ages 22 & 25 are very passionate about being organ donors despite our religious beliefs. I found that amazing when we discussed it (and more than a little proud)!

    I would only give an organ not take advantage of a government payout; it just stems from my deep conviction for helping others.

    Thanks for the post!
    Lynn Spiro
    http://www.lynnspiro.com

    Reply

  16. Tammy Eakes
    Apr 13, 2013 @ 06:25:36

    Give it to someone – very possible. Sell it – no.
    Very thought provoking post. My initial thought was that I would answer telling you that without a doubt I would give it to someone but not sell it. Then I thought “Huhm, what if this is someone looking for a kidney donation? Would I really, without question, give them my kidney?” The answer to that is no. I certainly would consider it but there would first be much research on risks and such. I have 2 young children that need me to be healthy. I’m not sure that at this stage of my life I would put myself at risk of not being there for them…unless it was one of them who needed it of course.

    Reply

  17. Emily @ Have a laugh on me
    Apr 14, 2013 @ 14:02:40

    I love this post, I’m an organ donor advocate and tell anyone that listens how important it is, I also try and use my weekly feature in a local paper to write about it when I can :)

    Reply

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