Originally Posted by DiscipleDOC
Sorry to hear that, bro...I will be praying for you on this...
Yeah kinda lame, and I just went stage 4. Stage 5 is imminent, so I either need a transplant or dialysis sometime in the near future. I've already received a referral to a transplant team, have a few people volunteered to donate their kidneys, but I don't think any of them would be allowed to donate (compatibility isn't a problem - there are exclusion criteria for giving kidneys in general though.) I'm not certain yet though. It's a wait and see game at this point.
I've come to realize something incredibly backwards about our society with regard to this. When you're on dialysis, working is HARD from what I understand. You have to go 3 times a week, and it basically ruins your whole day. It costs medicare around $100,000 per year for somebody to be on dialysis, and dialysis is for life. A kidney transplant however is a one time cost of $100,000.
Living donor kidneys last longer and work better than cadaverous kidneys, and only 3% of deaths make suitable cadaverous donors, so there aren't many available. Plus, you can't pull a organs out of a completely dead body, the person still has to be technically alive but merely brain dead and on life support at the time of harvesting. And even when the person volunteers as an organ donor, the family more often than not denies the medical team permission to harvest organs.
Having a living donor is by far the best. Yet to donate a kidney actually costs the living donor money - typically between $800 and $2,000 dollars, and that doesn't even include lost wages for being off of work. And you know what? It's against the law for me to compensate them for that financially. Apparently our society deems it immoral and wrong for me to do so.
It gets better. Surveys have found that people would donate their kidneys for $25,000. Society at large views that as immoral though, because you're "taking advantage" of the poor. Look at it this way though: Dialysis makes your life miserable. You are constantly drained of energy, you are only allowed small amounts of fluid as part of your diet, you have to rigorously control phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and protein intake, and over your lifespan you are looking at a cost of millions of dollars. In addition to that, your life expectancy is going to be much shorter.
If people could sell their kidneys (as well as liver lobes and other live tissues that you can donate) there would be a lot more of them, it would save tons and tons of money, vastly improve the lives of the recipients, and the person receiving the money....gets money. Three different parties benefit here; nobody loses. Your body has a robust renal system, and is built so that if you sustain an injury that causes one of your kidneys to quit working, the other one can take over completely and you'll never suffer any side effects. I mean $25,000 dollars is about what a teacher makes in a year. Hell, double it to $50,000 and you still save an assload of money, the donor gets paid and does a noble thing of saving somebody's life. But no, that's somehow wrong and an immoral abhorrent thing to do.
Women are allowed to sell their eggs, the extraction of which happens to be more dangerous and is a bigger strain on their body than donating a kidney. Yet it's allowed and is done. I mean what the ****?
And no, there's no concern about people stealing and selling kidneys. There never will be a day where somebody walks in with a bag of kidneys and hawks them on the black market, it's just too impractical. Kidney transplantation is a very delicate operation, and the lifespan of a kidney outside of a body is very short, and caring for it outside of a body is a very manual process as well. If you want, make it so that only the government is permitted to buy kidneys, and payment comes in the form of your next income tax return, and it's tax free. The government would gain tax revenue that way, not by a little but a LOT.
Waking up one day with a missing kidney is an urban myth by the way, it hasn't happened. There was a law and order episode of it once, which makes some people think it has happened, but it hasn't. There was also an incident where a man faked that somebody stole his kidney.