Blood drives are scattered throughout the nation begging people to suffer a little arm prick to save lives of those who lose too much. Organ and blood donations are in high need. Almost any organ can be donated, as long as it is in good condition. My state encourages people to become organ donors if they die. The thought is while one life is lost, another can be saved.
But getting those organs are not as easy as it sounds. The United States is facing a organ shortage, specifically kidneys. Donating a kidney is different than donating any other organ; you are usually born with two kidneys and really only need one to survive. So why are more people not giving up an organ?
Giving up an organ is a serious matter. Kidney donors are often alive when they donate a kidney and a big concern is surviving surgery. Sure, if my husband or a close family member needed a kidney, I would be willing to push through the pain of surgery, but I am not sure I would do that for a stranger, would you? Another concern is what if later in life my remaining kidney began to fail? Would I be kicking myself for giving up my kidney when I become the one who needs a kidney donation?
This conundrum is halting many people from donating organs like a kidney. Organ donation shortage is not only in the United States; it has become a worldwide issue. And some countries have been innovative on solving that problem.
Iran has a thriving organ market. Instead of donating a kidney, you can “sell” it for a tax incentive. Donating an organ is such a big deal that doing it out of the goodness of your heart is not enough, but is cash?
Some might think this is a great solution to the organ donation problem. Create a demand and implement the right price and you have a whole new industry. But this industry is worrying people.
Ever see that movie where the man wakes up in an ice bath and realizes that his kidney is missing? Organ harvesting on the black market is illegal, yet happening everyday. Would legalizing the selling of organs help squash the black market or fuel it? If selling organs comes out in the daylight, will organ harvesting happen more often?
Or how about cash-strapped parents? Many parents use their kids to help make money for the family. Would they go as far as raising children to sell their organs?
There is the other ick factor of literally selling your body. But I have to wonder, is that any different than a man who sells his sperm to a sperm bank or someone who sells plasma? Selling those two fluids can be quite a cash earner, so is that any different than selling an organ? The big difference between donating sperm or plasma and donating an organ is that you have a limited supply of your organs.
What do you think? How much would you sell your organs for?