A College Tuition Payment for Your Spare Kidney?

SLATE | Sally Satel
A new bill proposes an alternative way to compensate people for their organ donation. We should try it.

What did you do on your summer vacation? I got a new kidney. Actually, it is my second. The first transplant, which I received in 2006 from a once-distant-but-now-dear friend, Virginia, wore out earlier than expected—I’d hoped to have it for 20 years. This one was from a solid-but-not-best-but-now-beloved friend, Kim, who had considered donating when I first became ill and was recently able to do so.

I am almost obscenely lucky. Within a 10-year period, two glorious women rescued me from years of grueling dialysis and a guarantee of premature death. After my first transplant, Kim had told me that she would be willing to donate to me if I needed another kidney. (While most cadaver kidneys typically last 10–12 years, living donor kidneys tend to last 15–20 years. Mine started to give out early, sadly, so I knew I would need another sooner than later.) It was Kim, not I, who raised the offer whenever we got together on her trips east from her home on Bainbridge Island in Washington state. Her tremendous generosity allowed me to live many years in peace instead of constant worry. Continue reading
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