Do you have a problem with someone demanding money for an organ? Let's say someone decides to donate his/her organs after death, but only in exchange of financial compensation for his/her living relatives or for a designated person; or someone is in urgent need of money and decides to donate an organ; or someone just wants money for a donated organ. Is that really wrong? Why/why not?

Tags: money, organ donation

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I see a lot of posts in which is stated that money and medicine shouldn't mix. Then why do we pay for drugs? Shouldn't the government be heroic and donate them? Why do we give money to big corporations for drugs but not to an average Joe that might just help his kids not get to the point where they would require a donation.


I get it, some might profit from it, but it can be controlled. Sure, we don't trust our governments... that's another problem.

My issue with the mix of money and medicine is that I don't think financial means should determine whether or not a person receives treatment.  I'm not really sure what exactly should determine access to treatment, but I definitely do not think that it should be money.


Also, I think that the business model is terrible for medicine.  If profit is the ultimate goal, then it makes a lot more sense to create longterm treatments rather than cures or preventative measures.  In this view, I think that it is easy to see why our current medical system seems to be based upon expensive prescription drugs rather than actually preventing or curing the problem.  


Note: I'm not talking about all conditions.  Certainly, there are plenty of congenital diseases or acquired injuries that require continuous treatment.  But I think of the difference between Type I and Type II diabetes.  To the best of my knowledge, Type I diabetes is an inborn condition that will generally require lifelong insulin support.  Type II, however, is acquired and can sometimes be managed without insulin or prevented entirely if proper dietary guidelines are followed.  However, I've known several Type II diabetics for whom expensive prescription treatment was the primary suggestion rather than any sort of lifestyle adjustment.


Basically, I see money in medicine as a means of promoting expensive treatments rather than prevention or cures.  After all, a patient who is cured or never gets sick at all is a terrible customer.  A patient who remains continually sick is perfect customer because their continued patronage is guaranteed.

That's good. But you shouldn't pay for oranges and expect to get bananas for free. If you don't pay for one, you shouldn't pay for the other. People should make up their minds. Not decide that it is good to pay for one, and the other, meh, not so important.

I second everything you just said here.


I'd like to add that I'd like to see more countries (or maybe in the US states) make their organ donation programs opt out instead of opt in. I think we'd save more lives that way.

Ah, interesting idea!


And just because this gives me an opportunity to brag, I opted in when I got my license renewed today! :D

For-profit healthcare, is wrong wrong wrong.


I think that this is the crux of the issue.  I don't think money and medicine should mix.  But I honestly don't know how I feel about organ donation being characterized as an honor; it almost just seems like donating unneeded organs is a logical step rather than a heroic act.

Speaking of money for organs, has anyone ever seen Repo Men?


Synopsis: Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before said ticker is repossessed.


Granted, it concerns artificially-grown organs rather than those harvested from the deceased.  Yet I still think that it addresses the issue of placing a price on internal organs.

I have. It was an average movie. With some flaws in its script, it could've been better.


And I had nothing like that in mind when I started this discussion. :)

I have. It was an average movie. With some flaws in its script, it could've been better.


Agreed.  In a sense, the plot twist reminded me of a less clever version of Vanilla Sky.  


I'm still puzzling over the issue of having organs be worth money.  While I don't think that a donor being paid necessitates that a recipient pays, I still wonder at what would happen if our bodies became commodities at death.  Would problems arise with people viewing loved ones with healthy organs as goldmines upon death?  Could it create dangerous motives for death?  Then again, I suppose the same argument of motive could be staked for any wealthy person whose family stands to inherit money upon their death.  


I'm not sure...something that I haven't really identified just seems wrong to me.  I'll have to think about it some more.

That's why the owner of the organs should decide before he dies what shall be done with them. I'm surprised that people don't understand my point, as a lot of you seem to be pro-choice in many different situations. This one is no different. Nobody but me takes care of my body and makes sure that my organs are in a good state, so why would someone else make the decision for me? It's not like you find my body in the middle of nowhere and you have no idea who I am, but my organs are healthy and you decide to pass them on someone who needs them. I am talking about a decision that I can make myself right now, or any other time until I die, and it should be my decision only.

I'm surprised that people don't understand my point, as a lot of you seem to be pro-choice in many different situations.


I am talking about a decision that I can make myself right now, or any other time until I die, and it should be my decision only.


Don't we currently have the power to make that decision by whether or not we check the "organ donor" box on our driver's license?  I don't think that choice is the issue with attaching a monetary value to organs.

And I enjoyed Repo Men a little more than Vanilla Sky, but that's just me...



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