Genetic Research and Funding Efforts Aim to End Black Market Transactions for Kidneys

People with money who are desperate for a kidney transplant may be able to buy one on the black market in another country and have surgery performed by a doctor there. Since people can survive with just one functioning kidney, these organs are more available than others through this type of transaction. Business leaders like Jim Plante want to put an end to these troubling situations by finding ways to more effectively prevent and treat chronic kidney failure.

Developing a Legal Market?

Because of the dire shortage of kidneys available for transplant, some respected scientists have begun to support the idea of a legal market for kidneys in the United States. This could save many lives since so many end-stage renal disease patients pass away before a kidney becomes available. The average lifespan for a dialysis patient is relatively short, at about 5 to 10 years, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

The Problem of Motivation

Although receiving a kidney from a living donor is a possibility in this country, most people are not in a hurry to give up one of these organs. They might do so for a loved one but not for a stranger or a casual acquaintance. However, it must be acknowledged that many men and women might be willing to donate a kidney for the kind of money being paid on the black market. They might receive up to $160,000 for one of these organs as of 2019, depending on the country of purchase. Other markets currently have $50,000 as a common price.

Understanding the Waiting List

People who are against making these transactions legal often cite the obvious problem of wealthy people being able to buy kidneys and everyone else having to remain on dialysis. Right now, the field is more level, with those who have been waiting longest generally receiving the next available organ if they are a match for blood and tissue types. This is another problem that limits the availability of organs for individual patients. The work of Mr. Plante and his companies is intended to help men and women prevent genetic diseases like kidney failure, thus ending this disturbing situation.