Brittney Stewart

Special Education Aide, education

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Selling kidneys. Is it unethical or an untapped business opportunity?

There are towns in India where people are selling their kidneys in order to support their families, not realizing the detrimental effects it will have on them. They are largely being taken advantage of because it is a black market affair. Because of this, it would make more sense for both parties to have it legalized so people all over the world can get the kidneys they need and the people who are selling them will be protected and compensated fairly.

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    Oct 10 2011: now you american people are talking about indian needs.
  • Oct 9 2011: I think selling kidneys is seriously unethical in several aspects.
    First of all there's the seller's side. I don't think we can define a decision of a man to sell an organ as "free will". A person who sells a kidney is probably doing it because he needs the money badly, or else he would have donated it or wouldn't have given it up at all. To me, buying kidneys (at a ridiculous amount of money which goes to the donor I might say) is abusing the weakness of poor people, in order to achieve personal gain, and that's wrong.

    Secondly there's the buyer's side. If we would legalize kidney selling, the process might become more organized but it will create a situation in which the higher bidder gets the kidney since the seller wants to receive the maximum money. In my opinion it will also cause the organ -donations- to slowly disappear. In that case, the price for an organ transplant will rise and will be affordable only for rich people, leaving all the others to die while waiting. I believe surviving a disease shouldn't be a rich's luxury, but a right for all. Don't you?
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      Oct 9 2011: since when "needing money badly" is somehow the opposite of "free will". i understand that you want to deny the very thought of being in such a situation. but there are people in such a situation, and you can't help them with banning the solutions they might come up with.

      yes, there are people who might make a well informed, rational decision to give up a kidney. and get money to heal their child, for example. you consider that a bad decision? what other possibilities they have? what is your proposal? let their child suffer? or win the lottery? or you are willing to transfer the money they need?

      it is easy to shut your eyes, and deny reality. but doing so, you are hurting the people you speak for. in order to save who? an idiot who donates a kidney to get another dose of alcohol or drug? why should we care? i care more about the guy who wants to use the money for good. i trust people with their decisions. and i'm okay with idiots making idiot decisions too. that's the price to pay if we want reasonable people to be able to make reasonable decisions according to their principles, ethics and values.
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    Oct 8 2011: Well being an Indian I can understand the issue.The problem is most of the poor people are uneducated therefore they really don't know what will be the effects of selling their kidneys.But there are also people who would want to sell them in spite of knowing the effects and we have no right to stop them.Therefore I agree with you,legalizing things is a good way to tackle this problem but it is difficult to practically implement it in a country like India where there is so much of corruption. I think that creating awareness among uneducated people regarding this is vital to solve this problem.
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      Oct 8 2011: If it is legal would you dare to go to the hospital?
      Maybe you go for a kidney stone and you come home with one kidney less.
      Or wors you die and they cover up the cause.
  • Oct 8 2011: Governments should really start legalizing sale of body parts... right or wrong... if a person wants to sell a body party to provide for himself/herself or for others, who are we to decide if its ethical or not! its not our body party!
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      Oct 8 2011: Did you know that both in India and parts of South America people and children are killed for the good parts to be sold? Did you know they can get up to a thousand dollars per part?
      Is this your solution to give every person a home?
      • Oct 8 2011: I understand your point Frans, but I wasnt talking about anyone being able to sell parts of anybody else....
        I just meant if someone wants to sell an organ to provide for others...
  • Oct 14 2011: I think it can to sell Sidney because it’s can to transplant an organ for on a waiting list.
    These days illegal trafficking of human organs is prevalent; so if government monitoring irregularities, and will be penalized for it strictly, it is very effective solution for many people who need to organ trasplant operation.
    Still a lot of people are waiting for organ transplants, and many people have a hope that can live by undergo an operation. Therefore I think it’s possible, if someone who has will that to sell organs by oneself.
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    Oct 11 2011: OK. I see where you are going here. Wow. That would really work! The problem is I can't see it getting past the ethics committees! As America is the only wealthy industrialized nation that does not ensure that all its citizens have health coverage, do you think that if we implement this idea some Americans would decide to sell a kidney to pay for their health care? This rather than go bankrupt?
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      Oct 12 2011: Susan please let me remind you that "America" is a whole continent, not a nation. And maybe is not so "whealthy". Historically the United States of America solved their problems with the use and abuse of others nations and individual resources.
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    Oct 10 2011: the main issue is the testing of it. In this world of esquisoid people kidneys are unatural, then we don´t need it. it is not a question of ethic but more of identity. if one calls carlos or Paul their kidneys are exactly nature gave them. when nature fails we must to do every efforts to compensdate their failures. Not for money, please. Are you suggesting we live like cyborgs?
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    Oct 10 2011: you need to test it firstly.
  • Oct 9 2011: all i know is they should sale kidneys seriously , they sale everything else in this world plus that list is no joke and who wants to wait on something that cab be purchased
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    Oct 8 2011: I agree with Krisztian but would add that maybe we need to spend more time and effort in creating artificial kidneys that could go into the human body safely and may I add all other organs also. Maybe less time on a world scale of developing tools of destruction and more time developing tools of life extension? Less worrying about who is a super power or has the best political system and more time teaching children creativity to make life for every person better?
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    Oct 8 2011: my only concern about that is coercion. care should be taken to prevent forcing anyone to donate organs. if it happens voluntarily and with proper information about the consequences, we have no say in this matter.
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      Oct 8 2011: Informed consent does seem to be the issue.
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      Oct 8 2011: I agree completely with Krisztian. If people wish to donate their organs, then we have no right to stop them from doing so. However, before they are allowed, they should be educated about the affects of doing so. The major issue with this would be the traders. They can/will kill people for their organs and legalizing the selling of organs could help these traders get away with their crimes.
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    Oct 8 2011: It is the duty and obligation of civilized nations to eliminate desperate poverty that drives poor people to such inhumane depths, and also to accelerate science research and find medical cures.
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    Oct 8 2011: I think that it is really most unethical because of the disparity of the ' traders.'

    One person has life on his side the other needs life and thinks it should be 'given' to him. What if in exchange for saving a person's life the giver received half of the recipients worldly goods? Two people sharing one life including worldly possessions seems more in balance. That seems like a fairer exchange to me.
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      Oct 8 2011: Debra if we see all as a "possession" we are in the "trade system". But if we see our own bodies as a commercial item we are in "prostitution". If we DONATE an organ to save a life we are in heroism. We have to choose. Ethically the question is so wrong shaped. So we can replace some elements in the question to see the real issue behind...Organ- Money just to survive?...kidneymoney to build a house or buy a new car?...the body has a limit and soon we found it. Life is a mayor gift in our bodies and we dont have the right to trade any organ by the 30 coins of money slavery.
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        Oct 8 2011: Hi Jaime!

        I truly do agree with you. I was intentionally controversial in my post (but I did not expect you to be the one who bit!) In fact, I came within days of donating a kidney recently when an aunt (more the age and closeness of a sister) of mine was in need of a kidney and the one she was given was being rejected. Having watched my grandmother, an aunt and an uncle all die of kidney disease these issues are ones that I have thoroughly considered.

        My point is that rich first world people are casting a covetous glance at third world or poor people who may be in no position to get a fair exchange. If they are so generous as to give a kidney I am not sure why a caring recipient should not think about the depth, the width and the volume of the magnitude of another person giving them renewed life and be willing to be so generous in return.
        It is not happening though, Recipients are usually well able to afford to make the donor's life better if the kidney comes form a third world country but what is happening? A kidney can be purchased for $1000 - less than what that person who gets a new life will pay for their TV set.

        My point is all about the way the rich look at the poor as some sort of exploitable resource and never consider their roles as human beings. What is the price for a new life?
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          Oct 9 2011: Debra theres not a "kidneys factory", all kidneys, hearts ,arms eyes and so born in a human being. So when somebodys bought a kidney who is the suplier? A kidnaped children in some poor country? A desperate person who can't pay the bills?.....the real issue in this topic is human life and human dignity. All of us in our familiar enviroment have a relative with health problems or painfull diseases or maybe need for trasplantates organs.

          If we need an organ we have to subscribe in a vary long list od recipients and wait. The life is out of our decisions. Is a God's matter and no more else. Beyond the science especulations or moral sofismas to hide the reality of death, we have to acceptour human condition and fight for life, but fight with dignity to reach the final point. The new life is new born life from a baby or a victory against death, but the time is running, and that victory is no more than a little advantage that death give us. So sad to us the others lfe for living ours.
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          Oct 10 2011: Debra the music relief the dark sides of life......enjoy.

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    Oct 8 2011: Brittney, what do you think?
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      Oct 9 2011: The fact is, people are going to do it, and if we could improve the way it's done, then I don't see why not. Many people are perfectly capable of living with one kidney, and if they want to sell the other one for profit they should be able to.

      I read recently that a guy sold his kidney for an ipad 2, which is shocking, but what's even more worrisome is what he's going to do when they come out with an ipad 3.
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        Oct 9 2011: As that guy will sell one of his eye for the ipad 3 it is fine with me.
        Any legality however must guarantee that no criminal comes in-between.

        I never forget the images I saw about killing squadrons in slums of Paraguay or Brazil were they cleaned the neighborhoods by shooting children that lived on the streets. Shopkeepers supported this as prevention for pilferages. At the same time criminals tried to make deals for the body parts they could deliver on demand.