Most Americans Would Donate Their Kidneys, But For The Right Price

By Arvin Matthew Paculaba, Parent Herald March 24, 04:30 am

There has been a renewed interest in compensation for living kidney donors in the U.S. While paying for organs is still prohibited in the country, a new survey showed that most Americans are fine with the idea of donating their kidney. Even more would do so for the right price.

In a paper published on JAMA Surgery, a research group from the University of Florida led by Dr. Thomas G. Peters asked 1,011 Americans if they would be willing to donate their kidney. Approximately 68 percent said they would donate to anyone, 23 percent would only donate to people they know and just 9 percent preferred to have their kidneys intact.

The three groups of respondents were asked the same question for a second time, but now with a $50,000 payment. Of those in the first and second groups, 63 and 60 percent respectively said the compensation would make them even more eager to donate. Only 26 percent in the third group would reconsider their decision because of the money.

Needless to say, the results of the latest survey is indicative of the country's changing views on living kidney donors. The Washington Post reported that majority of kidney transplants in the US are from deceased sponsors.

Over 100,000 patients wait in line annually to have a kidney transplant. Of course, not all of them do and some even die while waiting. The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 does allow healthy citizens to donate their supernumerary kidneys. However, the legal and medical processes involved are too strenuous and costly.

According to Scientific American, having one kidney is enough to support life. Living kidney donors are also less likely to have complications later on. Even though nephrons in the single kidney tend to stop working 1 percent each year after the age of 40, remaining nephrons usually become larger and totally compensate for the loss.

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