Alex Massie

Organ Markets

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Interesting piece from ABC News about people trying to find kidney donors via Craigslist. This leapt out however:

But some families who talked to ABC News say once they find a kidney outside of the traditional organ-donor waiting list system, they have faced hospitals that are suspicious or unprepared to deal with the legal and ethical questions of harvesting an organ from a living person located through personal ads.

Only 10 percent of transplant centers will consider doing a kidney transplant from an altruistic live donor who is not related or known by the patient.

And only 20-30 percent of transplant centers are willing to perform a so-called "kidney swap" between two families at the hospital who can't find a blood-type match for their loved ones among their own family, but are well-matched across families.

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UPDATE: See this excellent Sally Satel piece in The American for more. Satel knows what she is talking about, having had a kidney transplant herself. The splendid Virginia Postrel was her donor.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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