Tuesday, July 22, 2008

You may soon be able to sell your kidneys.....

Singapore may legalise organ swap

"So will the govt be subsidizing kidneys for the poor who can't afford it?" - Lucky Tan

Drink lots of water and don't take too much salt, your kidneys may be worth something. Your liver?...Don't drink too much beer or whiskey.

Recently we had a case of a rich man, the owner of one of Singapore's upmarket shopping center, trying to buy a kidney from an Indonesian. Unfortunately, the police found out about it and arrested the Indonesian men. The kidney operation was suppose to be done by the president of the Society of Transplantation (Singapore) who has a clinic at Mount E, the most expensive private hospital in Singapore.
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Over the years, I've heard of Singaporeans traveling overseas for their kidneys. They go to China, India and Indonesia where regulation isn't so tight. Anyone with a relative who needs dialysis can understand why people become desperate for transplants - the quality of life is really poor without it. Organ trading appear to be a win-win situation - the poor Indonesian is getting about 5 years of wages by selling away one of his kidneys. With that money he can support his family better. So far so good....win-win for all. I think that was on the minds of those involved in the recent case and I really feel sorry for the kidney patient who despite his wealth has to suffer.
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We have HOTA but it is not enough. There is a 10 year queue for organ transplants. Poor people selling kidneys to the rich - that has to be the answer. We have a lot of poor people these days who can't make ends meet and we produce the most millionaires per capita in the world. So why not allow allow organ trading to help close the income gap. Our income gap has been rising year after year despite all the govt has done. Lets start organ trading so poor people can sell their organs to the highest bidder. As with condos, BMWs, exclusive club memberships, we will find that the poor and lower middle income will be priced out of the market - unless we produce enough poor desperate people to supply this market or import kidneys from 3rd world countries. Imported kidneys (just like imported foreign labor) will not help to close the income gap..... I suggest only Singaporeans be allowed to sell kidneys. We can allow anyone to buy kidneys since we are a medical hub - the price of kidneys will go up if we allow rich foreigners to add to the demand. That will help poor Singaporeans fetch the highest price for their kidneys.
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For middle class Singaporeans who can't afford the kidneys, the solution is the same as what we have in place now for medical care - buy more insurance. I'm sure NTUC Income can work out a new medical insurance plan to cover the purchase of organs. For the poor people who will be the net sellers of kidneys, the solution is again the same as what we have today for medical care - subsidized organs - similar to the subsidize health care they're getting today, they will have to queue up for their kidneys.....if they want it faster, they will have to forgo the subsidy.

Organ trading is a great idea. While it is unthinkable for other countries to implement such a scheme because they are worried that the poor will be exploited, it is a perfectly acceptable solution in Singapore because we have a big income gap and this is one way to narrow it without any cost to the govt.
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Singapore may legalise organ swaps

1 hour ago

Singapore may legalise the trade in human kidneys for transplants, its health minister said.

The Health Ministry is considering paying unrelated donors to boost the supply of organs, Khaw Boon Wan said.

"We should not reject any idea just because it is radical or controversial," Khaw said. "We may be able to find an acceptable way to allow a meaningful compensation for some living, unrelated kidney donors, without breaching ethical principles or hurting the sensitivities of others."

Khaw said the ministry would review possible changes to current legislation to allow payments for donations from third parties such as those from the charity and religious sectors. Under the proposal, which would need to be approved by Parliament to become law, patients would also get help in finding donors.

"There are desperate patients out there wishing to live and desperately poor people willing to exchange a kidney for a hopefully improved life," he said. "Criminalising organ trading does not eliminate it...it merely breeds a black market."

Khaw also said the Health Ministry would push to amend existing laws on organ transplants to remove an age limit on deceased donors, currently set at 60 years, because "the suitability of the organ depends on its condition rather than the age of the donor."

The two initiatives should enable Singapore to carry out 70% of the kidney transplants needed every year - up from 50% currently, the minister said.

Khaw's comments follow the cases of two Indonesian men who were jailed and fined by a Singapore court earlier this month after being convicted of agreeing to sell their kidneys to two patients.

Selling or buying organs or blood is illegal in Singapore, as in many other countries, and carries a penalty of up to 12 months' jail.


21 comments:

Onlooker said...

In short:-
Don't kena disease that will make transplantable organ worthless.
Diabetes affect kidney and cornea.

Anonymous said...

Personally I do not mind having a system of paid organs if the no of rich and poor receipients mirror the proportion of rich and poor in the total Singapore population - and sponsored by the government especially for the poor. The trick is that by Singapore Government method of calculating the common man in the street always feel left out of the picture. It it the extreme poor who get food vouchers / free medical. The rich can affford any price, and the middle class - suck thumb.,

Anonymous said...

Go for House-brand organs...

'No need to buy branded bread,'...'Bread is bread, rice is rice.' - PM Lee

Anonymous said...

I won't be surprised that many singaporeans support this initiative.

It is not difficult to see that the government had masterminded the debate from day one.

There are many wealthy singaporeans who will really hate to suffer or die because of their excessive eating or drinking lifestyle.

Having this legalised means they have added insurance to enjoy longer years of life.

As for the poor? well, we will help them like raising GST, remember?

It is a win-win for most. The hospitals and government can earn commission and brokerage. The doctors are happy to have more work (more patients, more money). And the government will ensure that the poor won't squander away their money by stipulating that they put it back into their CPF account. And they will get an annuity.

Of course, we all know, we will gain the most.

So I don't think anyone should really be so happy that there will be a windfall.

I think this is pushing the poor one step nearer their grave.

And the beauty is, the government can spend less on welfare now since everyone got organs to sell what?!

Imagine your daughter asking you for a loan and you telling her to set up shop at geylang.... great help.

I wouldn't be so upset if the pro-camp was not so hypocritical about their motives. All this talk about eliminating a black market and helping sellers to a fair deal. Bah! How many of us actually believe the government will give everyone a fair deal?

To me, Singaporeans can sell anything except one thing - their conscience which most are born without.

Anonymous said...

why talk about changes to the law before the rich in question is sentenced? would this subject surfaced if it had happened to someone less important in society like your regular joe?

now i understand why ministers have to be paid millions for their contribution to society. they have certainly taken the win-win resolution to new moral heights.

by the same token, can we look forward to pedophile and all flesh trade laws changed too?

we should remove anything that stand between mutual gain especially if it implicates certain people in society, reduces their hard earned/inherited privileges or limits their wealthy entitlement( what money can buy them) in life over their subservient poorer followers.

thank you very much. already, i have renewed respect for MONEY!

praise the lord, even karmic gods can be bought!

Anonymous said...

Parting shot of the article really rings, sell kidney can, why can't you sell blood? Talking about being in the Matrix, harvested to power a higher order being!

But done deal liao, if Khaw say yes, law can be changed overnight, what you going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

This country is going to the dumps, its government has no remnants of a moral conscience, everything is commoditised, votes can be brought, now kidneys can be sold, everything reduce to a supply and demand chart, free market capitalism got mad. I freaking hate you! PAP!

Anonymous said...

I am a very poor Singaporean. I am very happy to know that very soon, I can sell my organs so that my child can go to school.

Thank your Singapore, and happy national day.

Anonymous said...

In essence, it means that the reason that poor man should have two kidneys is such that he could sell one of them to the rich. Humanity is degraded into spare parts. The powerful would now have an enormous herd of poor people whereby to draw their organs and blood from. Reminds me of a meat farm where poor=cow while rich=farmer. This is a little bit disgusting...

Undeniably there is a mismatch in supply and demand. However, having a mismatch does not mean that supply has to be increased. Rather, couldn't demand be decreased thru promotion of healthy food, lifestyle, and preventive medicine? Couldn't excessive taxes be levied on high cholestrol food such as McDonalds so that demand is lessened, while eliminating altogether any GST/import/excise taxes on vegetables and fruits? This would encourage more consumption of healthy food.

The article by Professor Gary Becker (with Julio Elias) is myopic in its perspective, in the sense that its analysis drives straight into dollars and cents, without exploring the moral perspectives and the bigger picture of healthcare provision. Not a good article to base a national policy on.

Let's hope that truth, integrity, and compassion prevails.

Anonymous said...

WTF!

Everyone citing Iran as the model to copy ... when did they become more world class than world class so that we have to copy them?!

I thought we only copy from 1st world developed countries?

More like the LEE family needed organs urgently ...

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell. Old lee kwan yu need some organs...
The old fart wants to be eternal
Makes Mugabe look like a sheep

Anonymous said...

anyone who sells an important part of themselves to a richer person for money in order to escape poverty sells their own dignity and soul. if they value money above their organs, they may also sell their children, wives and friends.

as humans, we all can be tempted. let's not tempt( with out money) the poor with an easy route to riches just because we fear death. there is no indignity of having less but there is no dignity in selling out or buying someone's life.

work yourself out of life treacheries - not sell people or yourself for gain.

it takes courage to accept one's fate. but it takes a coward to justify life/riches behind the laws!

praise the buddha and lky

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,

I'm not sure is this a proper place for me to inquire this, but is there someone who can enlighten me on how the government is helping us in our healthcare?

I tried looking up the guidelines and such and MOH's website but frankly, the impression I got is if I got sick and had to be warded, my Medisave/Medishield is only enough to pay a couple of weeks' stay in Class C ward. After that, it seems I will have to fall back on my own personal life insurance to foot any outstanding medical bills.

Considering that Medishield/Medisave are derived from our own CPF contributions, doesn't it mean that our beloved gahmen is doing next to nothing for us citizens' healthcare?

MOH keep saying that healthcare is "subsidized" for citizens, but somehow I just can't see it.

Can anyone elaborate on this? Appreciate it very much.

Anonymous said...

Uniquely Singapore!

If we are criticized in the international arena on this, our government will tell them that the Western concept of morality cannot be imposed on us as Singapore society is unique.
This line of thinking shields us from all criticism.

Anonymous said...

I am dead against kidney swop or sales in Singapore!! It's a terrible idea!

Instead, I think we should have a bidding system. The COE bidding system works really well, and should be applied to kidney trading too. With a fortnightly bid system, we can see the trend of kidney prices. We could also have different category eg. Chinese kidneys, Malay kidneys, Indian, and Foreigners. The latter group should be the most expensive and avoided at all costs. We don't encourage asking our foreign talents to participate in such uniquely singapore activities (not that they want to, also!)

I also recommend that a large govt levy be introduced (say, 50% levy). So if a kidney is successfully bidded at $10k, $5k will go to the govt, and the rest can go to the donor (as taxable income). We must also practice means testing on all donors. If they get $5k for the kidney, they should not be allowed to go to anything lower than B wards.

Finally, once a donor has traded in one kidney, we should try and convince him to give up the other one as well. The govt can put up campaigns to reach out to the remaining kidney. Afterall, we can easily say that it's for their own good. Much like how raising GST and introducing ERPs are for our own good. Singaporeans are easy to convince, especially the poor ones with only 1 kidney left!

Haha!

Anonymous said...

ah, at last a way the poor like us can contribute to the GDP and tax collection via gst!

In addition, another good reason for rich to migrate here! organs for sale....

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this scheme will finally prove that it is worthwhile to be a Singapore Citizen, where organ swapped is exclusively limited to Singaporean.

Majulah Singapura!

curious said...

In response to the person who quoted "Bread is bread, rice is rice" -- Actually different brands of bread are made of different ingredients. Some types bread have more artificial ingredients, whereas others have more natural ingredients. Of course, the bread made of natural ingredients are better for your health.
And of course, brown rice or enriched white rice is better than just plain old white rice.
So bread is not just bread and rice is not just rice.

Anonymous said...

wanna sell kidney for money

Anonymous said...

i want to sell my kidney for my kids iam 30 yrs female working and fit plzs contact me 8108412004

Dr. Calvin Cien said...

Hello,

My name is Dr. Calvin Cien from Ubth Specialist Hospital.

Are you in debt and you want to pay off your debt? Do you want to start up a business? Do you need a new apartment where you can live comfortable and happy? Here is the chance for you to acquire what ever you need that will make you happy and comfortable. Our hospital are rendering services to purchase kidneys from individuals who want to sell their kidneys. This is to inform you that we need individuals who can help in offering their kidney to help our patience who are really in need to buy a kidney for them to survive. We offer the sum of $ 300,000.00 Dollars for a strong and healthy kidney and our branches are located in various countries such as UK, USA, Greece, South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, Portugal e.t.c.

If you want to sell your kidney, you can simply contact us for more info with the below details.

Email: Ubthnephrology@gmail.com
http://ubthspecialisthospital.gnbo.com.ng

Regards,
Dr. Calvin Cien