Partial Transcript: Episode 21 (Organ Donation)

Nick: Let’s clarify.  Are these people that are already on the organ donation list and are paying to skip in line?

Virginia: The main thing is this: If I have two kidneys and you need one, then you pay me $20,000, and I give you my kidney.

Nick: There’s nothing wrong with that.

Andrew: I don’t see a problem with that.

Nick: The obvious problem is that this might target the poor because they need money.

Virginia: A Canadian study has concluded that most people don’t really dislike organ donation.  Let’s back up and ask this question: Is it acceptable to pay a family for a dead person’s organ?

Nick: You’re kind of walking a religious line.  If they don’t have an issue with it, though, I don’t think it should be an option to not donate.  Unless you’re claiming a religious exemption, it should be normal.  It should also be opt out instead of opt in.

Virginia: Here’s another question.  Imagine a married couple where the husband needs a kidney and the wife refuses to be an organ donor.  Should he be allowed a kidney if his wife refuses to help others?

Mike: Is she a match for him?

Virginia: No.  But maybe she’s a match for someone else on the list.  She’s perfectly happy to accept a kidney, but she doesn’t want to give hers.

Nick: I think it’s fine.

Andrew: People can change their opinions.

Nick: I just think organ donation should be an opt out.  So many people won’t take the time to become an organ donor.  If you don’t take the time to think about it, it should be a given.

Andrew: That kind of makes sense because your body stops really being yours once you die.

Mike: It’s a way to live on, in a manner of speaking.

Nick: Let’s switch this: Should we be allowed to pay the living poor for their organs.

Andrew: We already pay women for their eggs.

Nick: But that’s not really an organ.

Virginia: Plus, it’s a somewhat renewable resource.

Mike: No they’re not.

Virginia: If you donate your eggs, it’s not like donating your kidney.

Mike: If something goes wrong with extraction, you could not be able to get pregnant.

Nick: Then we get into percentages.  Is that a low probability or a high probability?

Andrew: It’s probably low.  I’ve heard of people who sell their eggs for years.

Nick: Are you selling eggs that you would lose anyway?

Virginia: Yes… Sort of.  They give you a drug to hyper stimulate your ovaries.  Whereas a normal cycle only produces one egg, this makes a dozen or so.  Supposedly you’re born with like a quarter of a million premature egg cells, so theoretically, it doesn’t really impact anything to release a few more.

Nick: And you normally lose one every fourteen days?

Virginia: Twenty-eight…

Nick: We had two women in our household, and they were never in sync.  It was every fourteen days for my family…

Andrew: If you’re both healthy adults, and one person is willing to give you money in exchange for your kidney, I don’t see any problem.

Nick: But should your medical insurance be required to pay for it?

Andrew: No.

Nick: So you have to buy additional insurance to pay donors?

Andrew: Yes.

Nick: I like that.

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