Give and Take

kidneyHere's an interesting tidbit: just 5-10% of of organs sold worldwide are black market, the rest are donated freely or sold legally. The Wall Street Journal published a fascinating article, Tackling the Organ Shortage, about ways to solve the organ donor problem. Here's how other countries handle things: in Iran and Singapore, donors are paid for organs. In Israel, you get yourself on the donor list, or you move to the bottom of the list when you need one -- tough love. Europe: presumed consent unless you opt out. Interestingly enough, Iran is the only country to have eliminated organ shortage completely, having implemented a system that pays $1,200 per organ. The WSJ estimates that paying as much as $15,000 per organ in the US would be cheaper than ponying up for kidney dialysis later on. It's a great article, and fascinating read.

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1 comment

  • Dave Undis

    Registered organ donors in the United States can get preferred access to donated organs by joining an organ donor network named LifeSharers.

    If you agree to offer your organs first to other LifeSharers members, you’ll get preferred access to the organs of every other member of the network. As the LifeSharers network expands, your chances of getting an organ if you ever need one keep going up — if you are a member. LifeSharers already has over 13,500 members.

    Giving organs first to organ donors creates an incentive for non-donors to become donors. This increases the supply of organs and saves more lives. Saving the maximum number of lives should be the primary goal of our organ donation/transplantation system.

    Giving organs first to organ donors also makes the system fairer. People who aren’t willing to donate their own organs should go to the back of the transplant waiting list as long as there is an organ shortage.

    If you want to donate your organs to other organ donors, you can join LifeSharers at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. Membership is free. There is no age limit. No one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

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