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.
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.
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.
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.
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.