Skip to comments.Reward Organ Donors, And Thousands Of Lives Will Be Saved
Posted on 08/08/2016 9:45:09 AM PDT by Kaslin
Howard Broadman is a retired California judge with an active private practice as an arbitrator. He is also the grandfather of a little boy named Quinn, who was born with serious kidney problems. In time Quinn will require regular dialysis to stay alive until hes eligible for a kidney transplant. Broadman would gladly have donated one of his own kidneys to save his grandsons life. But Quinn is still too young for a transplant — and by the time hes ready, his grandfather will be too old.
So Broadman, together with transplant surgeon Jeffrey Veale, proposed an arrangement to the UCLA Medical Center: He would donate a kidney to a patient who needs one now, in exchange for a voucher that Quinn can use when he needs a transplant in the future. UCLA not only agreed to the proposal, it inspired 10 other hospitals around the country to offer the same arrangement to potential kidney donors: Save a strangers life today so your loved ones life can be saved in the future.
Veale hopes that if Broadmans brainchild spreads, the waiting list for kidney transplants may at last begin to shrink. For years that list has been growing, and the death toll from kidney failure with it.
The numbers are heartbreaking. As of January, according to the National Kidney Foundation, nearly 101,000 Americans were waiting for a kidney transplant, and more than 3,000 patients were being added to the waiting list each month. In 2014, approximately 17,000 kidney transplants were performed in the United States. But almost 4,800 patients died while waiting for a kidney that never came, and another 3,700 grew so sick that they were no longer eligible for a transplant.
Every day, another 13 Americans die for lack of a lifesaving kidney. Yet if just one-half of 1 percent of the nations adults became living kidney donors, as UCLAs transplant staff points out, the US waiting list for kidneys would be eliminated 15 times over.
Most transplanted organs currently come from the bodies of people of who have recently died; in 2014, there were about 7,800 such donors, yielding 11,570 usable kidneys. If more Americans registered as organ donors — or if the United States were to emulate Spains opt-out system, which presumes that individuals consent to donate their organs at death unless they specify otherwise — thousands of additional lives could be saved each year.
But cadaveric organ donation will never be enough. Relatively few people die in ways that leave their organs suitable for transplantation, writes Sally Satel, a physician and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (and herself the recipient of a donated kidney). And organs donated by living donors last, on average, five to 10 years longer than those transplanted from a deceased donor.
The need for more living donors has never been greater. Broadmans blessed innovation will help, by providing an incentive in the form of a kidney voucher for a family member in the future. But judging from the minuscule number of living donors in this country — only 5,500 Americans donated a kidney in 2014 — it will take more concrete incentives to get the number up.
Unfortunately, the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act makes it a crime to reward anyone with valuable consideration for agreeing to donate a kidney or other organ. Altruism alone is supposed to motivate organ donations. Lawmakers feared that offering financial incentives to donors or their families would be demeaning, turning human organs into mere commodities to be bought and sold. Others have expressed concerns about the poor being exploited, relinquishing an organ not from the goodness of their hearts, but from a desperate need for cash.
Against those theoretical sensibilities is the brutal outcome of our existing organ transplant policy: more than 100,000 sufferers condemned to dialysis, agonizing waits for a kidney to become available, and thousands of preventable deaths every year.
Some people will always be motivated to donate an organ — or do any good or useful thing — for altruistic motives. Far more will be motivated by material rewards. Successful kidney transplantation requires the services of surgeons and anesthesiologists, nurses and orderlies, clerical and pharmaceutical staff. None of them is expected to volunteer their efforts, and no one suggests it is demeaning or immoral for them to be paid. Yet federal law demands that the most crucial transplantation service of all — the donation of the organ that preserves a life — be provided out of sheer good will. Until that changes, Americans who could be saved will go on dying.
Economists have frequently argued that a liberalized market in organ transplants would rapidly increase the supply of kidneys. Medical researchers have reached similar conclusions. A study published last year in the American Journal of Transplantation calculated that if the government were to begin paying $45,000 for each donated kidney, taxpayers would end up saving $12 billion annually in public expenditures. And for society and the economy as a whole, the study estimated, the net benefit from saving so many lives and reducing the need for dialysis would be about $46 billion per year, with the benefits exceeding the costs by a factor of 3.
Incentives dont have to take the form of cash payments. Satel has proposed reimbursing organ donations with in-kind rewards, such as a contribution to the donors retirement fund; an income tax credit or a tuition voucher; lifetime health insurance; a contribution to a charity of the donors choice; or loan forgiveness. She notes that even the American Medical Association has called for testing the effect of material incentives on organ donation rates.
It may be hard for some to shake the sense that theres something repellent about paying people to give up a kidney. The alternative is for thousands of Americans to die pointlessly each year. Isnt that more repellent?
I’ve always found it interesting that when doctors use the blood you donate, they, the hospital and others involved in the surgery get paid big bucks - but for your blood, you get a cookie and some tomato juice.
That is one of the reasons, after donating a total of 8 gallons, I stopped donating blood a few decades ago. It wasn’t the only reason. Actually, it was barely relevant, but I love saying it...
Correction, 3 gallons. Sorry about that.
I have an idea, semi capitalism, allow a financial transaction to be made. Semi since some level of price control would probably be necessary, though for most of us that would be handled by insurers like any other procedure.
No thanks. Too many horror stories of hospitals being quick to pull the plug if the patient is a donor. I am never checking that box again.
Yeah #### that! I’m not trading my kidney for a voucher.
That’s like a bookmaker giving you a voucher.
And contrary to popular belief, there can be complications from going through life with one kidney.
Pop only had one. Lost one at 10. It made for problems by his 40s.
After hearing the rumor that sometimes the donor family gets charged (for removing the donated organs) because the donee has no health insurance, a friend asked the DMV if that was possible and they said “No comment”. They quit checking the box as well.
Then, Congress disallowing organ banks that don't have enough of blacks willing/able to donate, thereby short-changing everybody over the appearances of "discrimination".
I remember Walter Williams would,whenever he filled in for Rush,talk about economic freedom and used as an example a person being allowed to sell his/her organs...thus benefiting
the seller *and* the buyer.
What’s in it for ME? That question should take care of the so-called healthcare costs.
Start asking for payments for your blood, organs, and time for the so called charities. They make big bucks and it is time everybody asking for our fair share!
Bring down the blood and organ trade. Ask for money.
But cadaveric organ donation will never be enough. Relatively few people die in ways that leave their organs suitable for transplantation, writes Sally Satel, a physician and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute
Sally is a liar. NOBODY dies is a way that leaves their organs suitable for transplantation, because organs become tainted immediately upon death, which means you cannot transplant organs from a dead body. They can only transplant organs from LIVING bodies, which is why they invented the condition they call “brain death”, in order to justify killing people on the operating table to harvest their organs.
That’s actually kind of how I see it.
My wife’s deceased first husband needed a lot of blood, so people that worked with him as well as with my wife donated a LOT of blood to bring down the cost. Guess what? Those respinsible for keeping records lost them, so they had to pay anyway. And, of course, he died anyway.
Based on this and many other anecdotal experiences of my friends and me, I have almost no respect for the medical profession, other than specific research pockets.
if we were meant to have only one kidney, we would have one kidney...we have one heard, one gallbladder, one brain, one pancreas etc...
there are no guarentees if you donate that your health will stay good...if you do any kind of physical sport or work, you are at risk to injury the only kidney you have.
Then you would have issues like they have in India, where half the poor people are running around with one kidney, and not all of them sold it willingly...
But Quinn is still too young for a transplant and by the time hes ready, his grandfather will be too old.
Walter Williams should get paid. As he will tell you He’s HANDSOME!
Convicts should be automatic donors without their consent. Death row convicts should be made to donate BOTH their kidneys. They do things like that in China.
A lot of convicts have all sorts of drugs in their system. I don’t know if their organs would be considered usable.
Never heard of such a thing, a good transplant center can transplant babies.”
What would the kid ( or his grandfather) need a baby transplant for?
Bookmarking for the wifee who received kidney from son 1.5 years ago.
Congratulations to your wife and heads up to your son.
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