Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Would It Be Right to SELL a Kidney?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Would It Be Right to SELL a Kidney?

Article excerpt

A RESEARCHER has sparked debate by saying it is time to pilot "paid provision" of live kidneys in the UK.

CHRIS HOLE looks at the donor issue and asks why it has caused such a stir.

WOULD you consider selling one of your kidneys for pounds 28,000? It might seem like a bizarre question, but the idea of cashing in an organ has been raised by one medical researcher.

Sue Rabbitt Roff, a senior research fellow at the University of Dundee, suggested it was time to test the "paid provision" of live kidneys in the UK in order to cope with a shortage of donors.

In an article published on the British Medical Journal website, she said it could help people make money to pay off university loans - or simply give them the chance to do something kind. Ms Roff estimated that a kidney could be worth around pounds 28,000 - the average annual income in the UK. But the idea left many people questioning whether such a move would be ethically right. So is it right to sell off a body part? Katherine Hall, from Normanby, has already undergone two kidney transplants after her organs failed as an eight-year-old.

She now needs a third transplant and has her fingers crossed that a donor can be found.

The 30-year-old's story previously appeared in the Gazette when she described her hopes that her sister could be a match. Unfortunately, she wasn't.

But Katherine said she does not think it would be a good idea to start selling organs.

"I think you would have people doing it for the wrong reasons," she added.

"It depends who is paying for it too. If the patients were paying for it would it mean that only the rich could afford to do it? "Obviously there's a lot of people waiting for one, but I think the system is OK - people just need to be more aware of the donor list."

Angela Cooper, of Thornaby, lost her father Alan Hughes in 2007 - four years after he received a kidney transplant which gave him a new lease of life.

The 46-year-old mum has since been fundraising for Kidney Research UK and encourages others to sign up as organ donors.

"I think if someone is going to do it then it should be for the right reasons," Angela said. …

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