Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Problem With Legalising Organ Trading

This is a very interesting excerpt from Khaw says key problem to legalising organ trade is exploitation of donors

But Mr Khaw said there is a shortage of living donors in Singapore who are willing to donate their organs to relatives with kidney failure.

He said: "In countries like Norway, when patients have kidney failure, the doctors will straightaway ask, which family member is going to donate (their kidney). And you see the whole family putting up their hands - grandmothers, grandfathers, grandchildren - everyone offers (their kidney). In the case of Singapore, I asked our doctors, (and they said) first, not many put up their hands. And, (among) the few families that do put up their hands, very few family members put up their hands."

My question is very simple. Do you think that throwing money in this case will solve the problem? Is this essentially a money problem? Are the relatives not donating because there's no monetary incentive?

If money is really the problem, when did we allow it to become the problem?

This is where the media can really help educate the public on all issues relating to kidney transplant.

One idea that I've always like when it comes to preventing exploitation is to give out money without giving out money. Instead of giving out cash amount in one lump sum, the money should be broken up and distributed periodically. Or simply given out incentives worth the cash amount, like HDB grants or something.

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