Friday, April 27, 2012

Chances of Getting a Kidney Are Now Less Than 20%, It's Time to Legalize Donor Compensation

National organ transplant data through the end of 2011 are now available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the situation for those unfortunate patients on the waiting list for a kidney transplant has never been more grim.  Here are the depressing facts:

1. There were only 16,812 kidney transplant operations performed in 2011, which was fewer than the 16,899 transplants in 2010 and the 16,829 in 2009, and was even below the 17,094 operations performed in 2006.

2. While the number of kidney transplant operations has remained relatively flat since 2005, the number of registered patients on the waiting list continues to increase.  From about 65,000 registered patients in 2005, the waiting list for a kidney transplant has increased by 42% and by more than 27,000 patients to the current level of more than 92,000.

3. In 1988, there were fewer than two patients on the waiting list for a kidney for every transplant operation, and there are now 5.5 patients per operation.  In other words, patients on the waiting list in the late 1980s had more than a 50% chance of receiving a kidney, compared to patients today who have less than a one-in-five chance of receiving a kidney, and those chances keep diminishing every year.  

4. Based on data from the last few years, there will be about 5,000 registered candidates on the list who will die this year while waiting for a kidney, and another 2,000 who will be removed from the list because they are considered to be too sick to survive a kidney transplant operation.  

Bottom Line: The situation for those with renal failure waiting desperately to receive a kidney continues to worsen every year under the current policy that prohibits donor compensation.  The only realistic, long-term and truly compassionate solution to address America's worsening kidney shortage is to legalize some form of donor compensation.  

31 Comments:

At 4/28/2012 1:10 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Another example of price controls causing shortages. Govt=stupid.

 
At 4/28/2012 8:10 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

why don't people fly overseas to get their bought kidney?

isn't that how the "market" would work around country-specific restrictions?

You'd think this would be a boon to 3rd world countries.. you know like some of their citizens hitting the lottery, eh?

Why isn't this an excellent example of Medical Tourism?

(or perhaps it already is, eh?)

 
At 4/28/2012 8:30 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Larry, there aren't many countries where organ sales are legal.

Iran is one (I don't think many people can or will go there) and also Singapore was talking about allowing a market in 2008. I think it's now legal there, but I'm not sure.

Getting around those restrictions isn't cheap. First of all, restrictions in most of the countries in the world reduce supply, which raises the worldwide price of kidneys. In addition to the artificially high price of the organ, people have to pay the expense of going to another country to have the surgery.

There is no reason I can think of that a normal adult should be prevented by a central authority overflowing with busybodies from deciding what to do with his or her own body.

 
At 4/28/2012 8:52 AM, OpenID moneyjihad said...

I'm not comfortable with the concept of kidney sales.

It seems like kidney availability has gone down since the government became involved and started ordering citizens to decide whether or not they want to be an organ donor when they apply/renew their driver's license.

Have people stopped asking their relatives for kidneys because they believe the government should match them with a donor?

 
At 4/28/2012 9:15 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

this is actually a pretty good example of how govt intervenes in what otherwise would be a unfettered supply/demand market.

and this is not just one govt, it's many.


it appears to me to be a slippery slope issue that if kidney markets were sanctioned, what other body parts would follow and under what circumstances could someone sell their organs.

I realize that this is one of those issues where more than a few who participate in CD see this as a prime example of government overreach and interference in what ought to be a free market but when most of the govts in the world are of the opposite view.....

 
At 4/28/2012 9:25 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Moneyjihad,

If you are uncomfortable with kidney sales, that's fine. You don't have to sell yours and you certainly aren't under any obligation to buy one.

But, why should those who are comfortable with it be subjugated to your preferences? More importantly, why should people be forced to die for your comfort?

 
At 4/28/2012 9:28 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

it appears to me to be a slippery slope issue that if kidney markets were sanctioned, what other body parts would follow and under what circumstances could someone sell their organs.

That's a slippery slope I'd welcome sliding down.

What do you mean "under what circumstances"? Under an un-coerced
arrangement between two parties. What other acceptable arrangement can there be?

 
At 4/28/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well the government trying to contain the market on organs is akin to the government trying to pass laws against gravity...

 
At 4/28/2012 9:49 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

so far...the "govt" appears to have the upper hand...

you'd think that there would be a ton of people who would benefit and thus would "lobby" the govt at least as effectively as others who have self-interests to have the govt serve,

what should they do ... get a bunch of money and bribe the elected like other lobby folks do?


no?

 
At 4/28/2012 1:18 PM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Larry G: "so far...the "govt" appears to have the upper hand..."

It's good to see that you're in favor of tyranny, especially tyranny that results in people needlessly dying of horrible diseases.

 
At 4/28/2012 1:34 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" It's good to see that you're in favor of tyranny, especially tyranny that results in people needlessly dying of horrible diseases. "

I'm not in favor of it..just observing the reality...

I think there are actually ways forward... but they'll require compromises...on both sides..

 
At 4/28/2012 4:03 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Larry, government has the monopoly on violent force. So, saying that government has the upper hand is about as insightful as saying that up is up and down is down.

People who have no access to organs already have nothing. What kind of "compromise" will they make? What more do they have to give?

What "way forward" do you imagine?

 
At 4/28/2012 4:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Methinks - we talk about govt being manipulated / co-opted by groups to serve their interests.

I was asking if the group that wants Kidneys is also yet another interest group with the same opportunities to co-opt / lobby govt for their wants/needs as any other group?

How come some groups can get the govt to do their bidding and other groups like the ones that need kidney's not?

so there's more involved to bending govt to your own interests than just money, lobbying, etc.

otherwise, we'd have a market in kidneys...

 
At 4/28/2012 5:54 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

How come some groups can get the govt to do their bidding and other groups like the ones that need kidney's not?

I think, Larry, that there is a taboo issue here that is very difficult to overcome, one expressed by Moneyjihad. Governments will not go against a taboo and considering this one permeates worldwide, not many are about to.

 
At 4/28/2012 6:09 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Jon - agree.

 
At 4/28/2012 6:31 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

What does co-opting government have to do not getting in the way of private arrangements, Larry? Nobody needs to co-opt government in order to buy a kidney from a willing seller.

What's your "way forward avec compromises"?

 
At 4/28/2012 6:33 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jon Murphy,

For the vast majority of human history, slavery was a normal and perfectly acceptable institution. It was a taboo to frustrate that industry.

Taboos are meant to be mainstreamed, my friend.

 
At 4/28/2012 6:54 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Any taboo that increases freedom should not remain so.

 
At 4/28/2012 7:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"private arrangements" that require govt approval are really no different than other things that interests groups want that also require approval from the govt.

It's does not matter if what they want is something one believes is a right to start with or something that unfairly favors one group over another.

Both require getting the govt to approve it, i.e. the same process.

My point is that any group can use whatever means available to get govt to approve their interests wants.

We have talked about money, prostitution, and other things that are used in such endeavors.

I was asking if one group can get (buy) the govt to "protect" them from competition with a special regulation how is that any different from another group that wants a reg that allows a market in kidneys,

The process is essentially the same no matter if what you are after is a "good" thing or a "bad" thing in the eyes of others.

You could expect, in fact, businesses that would benefit from a kidney "market" to lobby for it... if it were not for what Jon pointed out.

What Jon pointed out was that for some issues, all the "normal" lobby ways of getting the govt to pass your reg/law may not overcome other people's opposition to it.

You could get someone to introduce a bill but chances are it would go nowhere if the public was dead set against it. This issue is similar in some respects to efforts to legalize a market for pot... in that regard.

the way forward on these kinds of issues usually involves some kind of a compromise that would meet the goal of making more kidney's available but not necessarily market-based at least not in an unfettered form.

I do not think you'll ever get the wide-open market here or in any other industrialized country but there is probably a lot of support for a better system that will make more kidney's available.

 
At 4/28/2012 7:18 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon Murphy,

For the vast majority of human history, slavery was a normal and perfectly acceptable institution. It was a taboo to frustrate that industry.

Taboos are meant to be mainstreamed, my friend.


Very true. I only mean to say that until that more is changed, it will be damn near impossible to legalize kidney sales. After all, mores about slavery were slowly changed over the years through the work of abolitionists.

 
At 4/28/2012 9:50 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Government approval, Larry? Why does this arrangement require government approval other than the government saying it does?

Yeah, you keep asking your soupy, irrelevant, off topic questions that indicate nothing more than you have no idea what the topic is and you don't have the necessary tools to learn.

 
At 4/28/2012 10:03 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jon Murphy,

Sadly, those changes in mores are coming from the East now. The United States is uncharacteristically behind in advancing the cause of liberty.

This more will change when Americans eat their way into a serious crisis. High blood pressure, diabetes and autoimmune diseases like Sarcoidosis and Lupus are but three causes of kidney failure.

At least two of those conditions are becoming far more prevalent.

It's a sad day when thousands in America die waiting for a kidney while Iran (of all places) eliminates its organ wait list by legalizing the sale of them. Singapore did the same in '08 or '09.

 
At 4/29/2012 5:52 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Government approval, Larry? Why does this arrangement require government approval other than the government saying it does?"

because the govt is other people in a representative Democracy who disagree with you over what is a "right".

Yeah, you keep asking your soupy, irrelevant, off topic questions that indicate nothing more than you have no idea what the topic is and you don't have the necessary tools to learn.

and you show how out of touch you are with the political and economic realities that dictate much of what happens despite your own beliefs.

You have to deal with the realities not your beliefs.

what in the world is "soupy and irrelevant" about this discussion in this topic?

and Methink... I KNEW you were just playing along until you can throw a couple of punches.. I've got your number... you're predictable and like a few of the others.. and I'll tell you the same thing.

You are NOT entitled no matter what you think of others comments to abuse them. If you don't like the comments or disagree or even think they are "soupy and irrelvant", move your cursor... and grow up.

 
At 4/29/2012 6:17 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

the: the "cause of liberty"

some seem to think that the govt is some monolithic evil force that takes rights, takes people's "liberty", rather than recognizing that it is OTHER people who do vote in a representative govt who do not agree and THAT's the reason the big old nasty govt is "uncharacteristically behind on the cause of liberty".

The reality here is that Liberty is defined by voters not pieces of paper written by ....other people in an earlier time or other people who develop "theories" of "rights", liberty is defined by people who vote.

I'm not saying the rest are smarter or even correct - just that when you demonize "the govt", you're not dealing with the real issue.

this is exceptionally relevant when discussing things like legalizing donor compensation as Jon and I both pointed out.

the perceived enemy is not some despotic govt, it is, in fact, your neighbors who outvote you and whom you have to convince if you want change.

Why this and similar issues cannot be discussed without insults and Ad Hominems from some is beyond me.

 
At 4/29/2012 8:54 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

You're right to criticize me, Larry.

Once an idiot has been identified as an idiot, it's a pointless waste of time to continue to communicate to him.

I should not have wasted my time with you yet again.

Mea culpa.

 
At 4/29/2012 9:09 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Methinks you are an arrogant idiot and that is much worse.

you don't even realize your own ignorance nor want to.

then you compound it with name calling.

"waste your time"? ha ha ha

you need to wise up ...first...

 
At 4/29/2012 9:24 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

anyone - I'm here to seek to discuss and dialogue and learn - and realize that I do not understand it all but I seek to understand more - not without having an opinion.

seeking to understand is not a flaw. saying someone "does not learn" because they do not agree with you is about as childish as it can get.

If you cannot dialogue on a polite basis then do expect the favor returned, you might not suffer fools - I do not suffer the arrogant and mean-spirited.

Here in CD... "clueless moron" or "idiot" or any number of pejoratives seems to be the preferred method of disagreeing.

It's like being in the 3rd grade all over again.

Grow up. Learn to agree to disagree .. and walk way while keeping a civil tongue.

If you cannot do that...and cannot resist the urge to act like a child, then be prepared to get it back.

If you think this "craps" up CD, I agree but then I some of the behaviors seen here even by those who are "admired" ... are childish and boorish...

Every day.. someone here feels the need to disagree and engage in Ad Hominems.. grow up.

 
At 4/29/2012 9:28 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Methinks you are an arrogant idiot and that is much worse"...

Nice try larry g but you've missed the mark badly...

Why methinks comes off as arrogant to you is that she actually has a clue and a whole lot more than clue in fact...

You on other hand have evinced an inability to come to grips with reality and you seem to do it purposefully which sometimes laughable but mostly its just sad...

 
At 4/29/2012 9:42 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Juandos - it does not matter how smart you think you are or even how smart others think you are - you define who you are by your behavior towards others and especially those you disagree with.

You guys are like 3rd graders here.

you cannot disagree without calling the other guy names or attempting to undermine him/her as a person.

that's not an honorable thing at all.

If what I say is not connected to reality as you say then why does it cause such as outlandish reaction on some of your parts?

you not only can't keep your trap shut and move on..you have to throw punches ...beat the other person up.

not something I'd be proud of guy.

ya'll have a culture problem here.

you have a little cabal that delights in abusing others...

how many folks lurk here because they see how ya'll treat others?

 
At 4/29/2012 1:19 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Larry,

You have now opened my eyes to the obvious parallels between your visits to this blog's comment section and a helpless Pakistani teen-aged bride stuck in an abusive arranged marriage.

 
At 4/29/2012 1:36 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Methinks,

so gracious and understanding you are for a sweet thing...

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home