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Organ donors mostly benefit the wealthy
Organ donor is a huge business
How come organ donors are not allowed to be rewarded for their organs but there are large amounts of monies paid for "organ procurement fees"? A kidney, for example, could represent up to $80,000 in said "organ procurement fees". The water is free, the bottle costs $10.00.
It is necessary to separate the nobility of giving from what is really a multi-trillion dollar business.
Lifelink foundation, a not-for-profit leader in the recovery and transportation of organs and tissues, started in 1982 with a personal investment $300,000 provided by Lifelink founders and seven founders. By 1985, Lifelink was able to borrow $2.5 million to enhance its operations. In 1992, the media reported Lifelink as lavishing in salaries and nepotism by paying more than $6 million to its 135 employees. In 2006 it reported a budget of $66 million. The organization currently has close to 500 employees.
UCLA waiting list. Do the rich get head of line?
More then 58,000 are minorities on the evergrowing organ waiting list. According to the United Network Organ Sharing (UNOS) the organization that "manages the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government", making them self-regulated by default, there are currently 112,628 officially waiting for an organ as of January 18, 2012. UNOS is one of the main government-directed organizations that deal with organ transplants. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Organ Procurement and Transportation Network (OPTN). There is also the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) which provides statistical data, like how long will I have to wait for a kidney according to my zip code. In my case, a little more than a year.
They all state that recipients are treated on a first come first served basis, regardless of income, race or social status.
On June 6, 1995, baseball legend Mickey Mantle received top of the list treatment for a liver transplant. He died two months later due to complications.
Generosity is recognized but not appreciated
The Organ Donation and Recovery Improvement Act, approved by Congress in 1984 establishes that "the Congress recognizes the generous contribution made by each living individual who has donated an organ to save a life." This act was set in place in order to establish as a felony if any given individual was to receive any monetary retribution for an organ.
This act allows in turn for reimbursement of transportation and incidental expenses to the donor, provided the recipient, the State, or a health services plan are insufficient to repay. Also, the income of the donor cannot exceed 300 percent of the Department of Health and Human Services guidelines.
Poverty guidelines for 2011 range from $10,870 to $37,630 depending on the number of family members.
So the government recognizes my generosity by being stingy conditioning the parameters within which I will and if I'll ever receive reimbursement.
This is like appreciating you got injured in war by not securing you a decent job when you come back home. Wait... we already do that.
Even physicians are disgusted with the organ donation situation
The title for a report from the Physicians for a National Health Program says it all: "Class and race inequalities in health and healthcare insurance status of U.S. -Organ Donor and Transport Recipients: the uninsured give, but rarely receive".
According to the report, when a reference is made to organ matching, is more in reference to money, or adequate insurance. "Transplantation rates differ by race, income and gender... blacks, women and the poor are less likely to receive them."
47 million Americans are currently uninsured. Uninsured individuals are the primary organ donors.
In 1986, Ronald Reagan called for an end to wealth discrimination in transplantation. Just like with Martin Luther King, Jr. I also share the ex-president's dream.
High executives both in the government and these so called not-for-profit organizations enjoy salaries of about half a million dollar per year. Why not at least get some life insurance in exchange? Free healthcare for those who donate life? Why not money?
It sure helps to be rich when it comes to healthcare
- Organ donation: An opt-out policy? - USATODAY.com
A suburban New York assemblyman whose daughter is a two-time kidney transplant recipient wants to flip New York's organ-donation system on its head by presuming people are donors unless they indicate otherwise.
- Organ Transplants-On Balance
Should we pay living donors for one of their kidneys or portions of their livers? Is it ethical to harvest organs from anencephalic infants or adults in a persistent vegetative state?
- Rich Can Get Transplants Quickly
Buying and selling organs is illegal in most countries, but soaring demand has opened a window for middlemen, such as Mr. Klak, who provide their services without breaking the law, linking those desperately in need of organs.