Dr. Gavin Carney

Doctor Advocates Government - Sponsored Organ Market

May 06, 2008 10:42 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Emily Coakley
An Australian doctor has ignited controversy by suggesting the government pay up to $47,000 for kidney donations to combat the country’s low donation rate.

30-Second Summary

Gavin Carney, a kidney doctor in Australia, has suggested that financial incentives from the government will encourage more people to give up a kidney. Less than one-fifth of Australians needing kidneys received donations last year.

“Let’s pay people some money for a new car or a house deposit and those [kidney transplant] waiting lists will be halved within about five years,” he said, according to AFP.

Chris Thomas, head of Transplant Australia, disagreed with the proposal. “It really focuses on the poor and people who are least able to pay for things in society. They get attracted to these types of things,” Thomas said, according to AFP.

Tim Dunlop of the Blogocracy Blog, says his initial reaction is to oppose organ sales, but an unnamed blogger at American Buddhist Net feels differently.

“I always feel suspicious about arguments that oppose giving money to the poor because it will ‘exploit’ them,” the ABN blogger wrote. “The poor sell their labor, health, and more to the rich, so why not their kidneys? The way to end the stigma of exploitation is raise the price for the kidney.”

Across the world, as in Australia, demand for organs far exceeds supply. The Philippines has banned organ transplants to most foreigners, while people in India have had their kidneys stolen to meet black market demands.

Headline Links: The organ market

Opinion & Analysis: Cases for and against organ sales

Related Topics: The steps being taken to alleviate organ shortages


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