Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Kidney Salesman "The Matchmaker"...Is this Kosher?

A Brooklyn man, Rabbi Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, known in his circles as "the kidney salesman," was arrested as part of the sweep and charged with enticing vulnerable people in Israel to sell one of their kidneys for $10,000, and then charging waiting transplant patients in this country up to $160,000. He admitted brokering kidney sales for a decade, federal prosecutors said in the complaint. The alleged decade-long scheme, exposed this week by an FBI sting, rocked the nation's transplant industry. If true, it would be the first documented case of organ trafficking in the U.S. As part of the scheme, the organ donors were brought from Israel to this country, where they underwent surgery to remove the kidneys, authorities said. I understand prosecutors did not identify which hospitals in the U.S. received the donors and their kidneys.
"I am what you call a matchmaker," Rosenbaum said in a secretly recorded conversation. Asked how many organs he had brokered, he said: "Quite a lot".
The flip side...It is a complete shame that there are people dying all the time of kidney failure, or forced to live on dialysis, when we all have two kidneys, and could easily give up one. I understand there are a few places that have a system of anonymous kidney donation to total strangers. No remuneration, just doing a good thing for another person - There have been surveys and a surprising number of people have said that they would donate a kidney if it meant saving another person's life, even if they don't know that person. What greater gift can you give someone...
But... the problem that might hold a lot of people back from donating a kidney is the thought, "what happens if my sole remaining kidney fails? Can I get my old one back? It is too risky... I heard of a solution that I totally agree with. Anyone who ever donates a kidney is automatically put to the front of the list if THEIR remaining kidney fails. And also if that one fails. So by donating a kidney there is no risk of you dying for lack of a kidney yourself. Certainly sounds very fair to me.

I'm a big supporter of Donate Life America and suggest you visit for the ethical, and moral way to support organ and tissue donations and where transplants are offered to patients for a chance for a healthy, productive and normal life. Register to be an organ donor today.

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