1. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    What is Your Body Worth?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Lewdog, Oct 25, 2013.

    I saw this article on Yahoo where they did a study about how much money and how many lives would be saved if people were allowed to sell their kidney for $10,000. So what do you think? Should we be able to? Is $10,000 enough? Would you be worried about your future if you only had one kidney?

    Personally I would do it, but I think a person should get more money. There are health risks from the surgery, recovery time, missed work, and several other factors you have to think about. I also would think someone that is a rare blood type should get more than someone else. I know there are going to be those that think it should just be the right thing to do it for free, but we are talking about money coming from the insurance companies, not the people. I think $25,000 would be more of a fair number. Thoughts?

    http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/should-kidney-donors-be-paid
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I only have one kidney, and they didn't pay me anything when they took it out, lol. It's been out for a little over a year, no I'm not worried, and it would've been nice to get some cash, lol. Of course mine wasn't usable, so I wouldn't have won on that front....
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    As with most goods, I imagine body parts follow the law of supply and demand. Thus, any price you put on a body part is essentially arbitrary. If no one needed a kidney, would it still be worth $10k?
     
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  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, but if you read the article, there are several thousand people that die each year because there aren't enough kidneys out there being donated.
     
  5. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    There is always a demand now. And, honestly, if the only one I have left failed I would be willing to pay any price, and would go to any lengths to obtain what was due. That's just fact. When you don't want to die, you don't want to die. And I'm doing well without one, there really isn't much I've had to change, but I can see both sides of the issue. Only having one makes you worry for the one you have left - at the same time it makes you realize that you can function and live perfectly fine without it.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If there were a revenue element added to the paradigm, how long before a criminal aspect shows it's head? The fact that any sort of monetary component to organ donation is illegal pretty much everywhere isn't arbitrary.
     
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  7. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    But do you think people should give away one for free because it would be their way of saving a life? Or do you think it is fair for someone to want money? Do you think it is greedy to use someone's need to stay alive as a motive to make money?
     
  8. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I think there's a reason there's a black market for organs. A lot of people DO expect money, or at the very least will do anything they can to get money - including selling an organ. I suppose my take on it is this - (Had I a kidney left to give) I would give it to family in half a heartbeat, I would certainly be tested for someone I knew, and if I knew of the demand I would give it there too. I don't need money to help people. But when you consider how many people DO need money - offering it would open a whole new line of donors and save lives in the long run. And that should probably be the goal.

    I've been tested for bone marrow, and also tried to donate part of my liver to a family member before I lost my kidney, but wasn't a match. I'm a giving person, but not everyone is, so in some ways I think maybe the end result is more important than the means?
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Just to be clear, I'm not saying there's no demand for kidneys. There probably always will be a demand. But you have to wonder what would happen if the demand suddenly dropped. I imagine the price for a kidney would drop, which is interesting because that's basically saying that the value of people (or their body parts at least) can fluctuate.
     
  10. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Do you think it makes a difference that the money comes from the insurance company rather than the person? The article says that surgery costs $100,000 + $10,000 for the kidney, versus $81,000 a year for dialysis. So in the long run, if a person lives very long and has multiple years of dialysis, the insurance company is saving money.
     
  11. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    No, I don't think it makes a difference. Either way, if it's giving someone a chance, it shouldn't matter where it comes from.

    @thirdwind Why wouldn't they? They would be a commodity at that point.
     
  12. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    But that already happens. Look at the work force, when there is a bunch of people that graduate with a certain degree, and the work force is flooded with all those people and the supply overwhelms the demand, their salaries drop.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, I think it's perfectly fair to be paid for it. I don't have an ethical issue with that part. I'm an interpreter, but I come from a family of accountants. It tends to give you a two-column ledger way of looking at life. Things are assets or liabilities.

    The crime element I speak of comes with the ease with which I myself can plot together a story where someone is forced into selling their own organs via blackmail, a loved one held hostage, etc. to then pass that money to the criminal.
     
  14. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    That already happens though, with people for money, assets. It's no different really. I'm surprised people aren't being held hostages and forced to be surrogate mothers. You can hold your idea to many parts of life that are already legal. Just like with anything, you have to weigh the good with the bad, and I believe this idea would save a lot of lives.
     
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  15. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You mean just another way for the rich to exploit the poor?
     
  16. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    How about this idea? People can dish out their second kidneys as a loan, in return for interest on the kidney for however long the receiver keeps it. Should the donor's remaining kidney fail, the borrowed kidney is returned immediately.
     
  17. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Don't the rich companies already exploit the poor with low wages and poor working conditions? As long as there are government controlled pricing, I really don't have a problem with it. If there is illegal things that go on, it's something that could have happened before there was any laws in the first place. If a rich person wanted a kidney right now, they could call up some dirty black market person and get hooked up with some under-the-wire doctor who knows someone who is willing to sell their kidney, and they do it. This at least stabilizes things and makes it more safe for the donor and the person who is receiving the kidney. You have to realize, people who do illegal things or unethical things are going to do it regardless of what system is in place.
     
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  18. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure, why not? The price can be fixed by the central authority. Lives are saved, money too if we accept the figures presented in the article.

    The world over people are doing jobs that jeopardize their physical and mental health; assuredly, they are selling their bodies - and more - for meagre returns.

    Yet here, folk might receive enough money (10k is too low, 25-50 seems closer to the mark) to actually make a meaningful difference in their lives.

    Selling kidneys throws the reality of economic life into stark relief, is all. Peculiar to baulk at it while happily standing by as the single mother toddles off to her third, sleep-depriving, stress-inducing, poorly-paying, job imo.
     
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  19. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This isn't really that different from the issue of whether it is acceptable to pay birthmothers to place their babies for adoption. In some cases, would it really be so wrong if a poor woman who had other children got pregnant with the intention of placing the baby up for adoption if she got enough money to provide food, clothes and education for her remaining children for years?

    There are multiple issues raised:

    With something like a kidney, where the donor remains alive (as opposed to a heart, for example), there may very well be a benefit in that it would increase the amount of kidneys available. But what about coercion? What happens if, for example, a person agrees to donate for $X, but at the last minute changes his mind. In the meantime, the recipient has passed on another offer from another donor, because this first donor was already lined up. The second donor has given a kidney, and perhaps due to a rare blood type or something, it is difficult to find a match. Can the first donor be sued for breach of contract? Is there any point beyond which the donor can change his mind?

    This does exploit the gap between the rich and the poor, as has been noted above. Poor people with bad or no insurance would never get a kidney. Although there would still be people who might donate to a specific person out of kindness, special relationship, etc., this would reduce the market for free kidneys -- why donate for free if you could get paid?

    It also increases the opportunity for coercion. The surrogate mother example noted above isn't quite the same. Although there is preparation required for a kidney donation, there is a lot more that needs to be done for a surrogate mother, and no guarantee that it will work.
     
  20. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think this would work, in practical terms. But, it could be the basis for a great story -- the recipient keeps tabs on the donor's health. He eludes the donor when it looks like he will want the kidney back.

    Also, if there is a market for kidneys, would the medical establishment be okay with removing the only remaining working kidney on a recipient because the donor needed it, if they could find a kidney from someone who has two?
     
  21. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    With the exception of my own brother, no, I would not donate a kidney/liver lobe/piece of my lung, etc. My body is worth too much to me to take the chance. I have no problem however with organ donation if I should die in an accident or under similar circumstances.
     
  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The illegalities to which I was referring earlier to have nothing to do with getting the kidney and everything to do with getting the money. While I can see a desperate loved one committing a desperate act to get an organ for a child or spouse, that's not the issue. If you make the organs worth a goodly amount like $10,000, now you get criminals finding ways to extort people into selling their organs, not for the organs, but for the money. Sick people willing to commit a crime to get an organ, probably not a large number. Criminals willing to exploit a cash-flow venue, we've no shortage of those.
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Read Larry Niven's organlegging stories, and you'll see exactly the kind of society that will develop with a commodity market for organs.
     
  24. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I think it'd be more likely that an existing black market would be eliminated when ending prohibition on selling body parts. Prohibition creates black markets, always. It creates crime and opportunity.

    I see what you're saying, and I guess this could happen. But what would make forced organ donation for money any more likely than draining someone's bank account or holding someone hostage? More likely than making someone sell an organ today despite the laws? If it was legal, the market price would drop, decreasing the incentive for criminals to attempt something like this.

    I could see this being an issue in an impoverished country, but I'm pretty sure such exploitation happens currently, regardless of the law.
     
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  25. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Organ trafficking sadly does happen a lot. As does human trafficking, but that's a whole new can'o'worms. We just don't see it.
     

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