October 22, 2021 4:30 pm

Illegal organ donations

Unconfirmed horror stories abound about people being robbed of their organs, being coerced to give, and about evil doctors who have turned illegal organ donations into a big business (as though they could not make plenty of money by practicing medicine without doing something illegal).

So far in America, only about 400 people have donated their kidneys anonymously. That’s a little over one person in a million. Why donate a kidney so few? My theory is that there are not ten people in a million who know all the facts that were listed at the start of this article. If they don’t know about the need, and about how to donate, how will they ever do it? It seems that no one wants to tell them (and, sadly, that even includes the glowing reports in local newspapers, which seldom ever even suggests that others could do the same thing).

There are even some rare cases of relatives of donors speaking out against organ donations (usually because of complications or poor hospital procedures which their relative experienced). The media welcomes such people with open arms, thus giving the public the impression that all donations end up that way. (And surprisingly, it is rarely the donor themselves that complains or features in the media reports, because most donors had already allowed for the possibility that things could have gone wrong. They are obviously disappointed, but many say that they would do it all again if they could.)

When the media chooses to do something positive on family members who donate, they rarely touch on the subject of someone being able to donate even if they don’t have a relative in need. Some who have given to a close friend or relative have expressed the feeling that what they did is okay, but that anyone who gives to a stranger is going too far or maybe just a little crazy. Media reports which put donors up on a pedestal without explaining how easy it would be for others to do the same thing have the overall effect of making the general public feel that what has been done is unrealistic for ‘normal’ human beings.

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