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Mr. Excellent
12-05-2006, 09:37 PM
Let's imagine that, hypothetically, I lived in a jurisdiction where selling one's organs was perfectly legal. Which ones could I sell?

The organ, or portion thereof, has to meet two criteria:

1.) I need to be able to live a normal life without it. It's okay if losing the organ would make me fall ill, but needing constant dialysis is out.

2.) There needs to be, at least conceivably, a market for the organ. Yah, I could live without my spleen - but who'd want to buy it?

3.) Profit!

Queen Bruin
12-05-2006, 09:57 PM
You could sell sections of your liver (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_donor_liver_transplantation).

InternetLegend
12-05-2006, 10:05 PM
You could sell one kidney. In fact, if you were charitably inclined, you could probably donate one kidney right now.

bouv
12-05-2006, 10:13 PM
You could sell one kidney, one lung, part of your liver, blood vessels, bone marrow, pieces of ligament, cartligage, and tendon, an eye, part of your intestines (I think), and probably other stuff.

DrCube
12-05-2006, 11:26 PM
Don't forget to get money in advance for all those organs you won't be needing after you die. I mean, you are a walking credit card, why not use it?

outlierrn
12-06-2006, 01:07 AM
blood vessels, pieces of ligament, cartligage, and tendon,


I wonder if there's enough demand for these to make it profitable, considering how much greater the expense of harvesting from a living donor without compromising their quality of life; I wouldn't be willing to give very large pieces of any of them from the same place, YMMV

Mangetout
12-06-2006, 08:38 AM
Don't forget both arms and legs - I'm sure these can be broken down for useful parts such as bones, skin, ligaments etc- you didn't specify that mobility and independence were essential.

One And Only Wanderers
12-06-2006, 08:42 AM
Don't forget both arms and legs - I'm sure these can be broken down for useful parts such as bones, skin, ligaments etc- you didn't specify that mobility and independence were essential.

would this not come under the normal life caveat? Don't think I could live MY normal life without limbs.

Nanoda
12-06-2006, 08:43 AM
If you count skin as an organ, I imagine you could donate some (though it would be uncomfortable I'm sure). I imagine cadavers are a sufficient source, but IANAD, so perhaps it happens.

A kidney is standard, though I'm uncertain of the long-term consequences (it's my understanding that you'd have to be careful to avoid sports where blunt trauma may damage the remaining kidney, but that may be decades old data)

Is bone marrow an organ? I understand it's fairly painful, but a chart here (http://www.marrow.org/DONOR/Donation_Transplant_Process/The_Donation_Procedure/Marrow_Donation/Advanced/index.html) says it's mostly ok after a month, so if I really like you I'll pony up. ;)

According to this interview (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/stories/s137839.htm), (involving someone who IAD), the remaining half of a donated liver will re-grow within two weeks, so right now that's leading my list of available organs.
(Though certainly not to someone called The Sausage Creature. :eek:)

chowder
12-06-2006, 08:43 AM
Testicles.....well one of them anyway

Ike Witt
12-06-2006, 09:30 AM
Testicles.....well one of them anyway
Probably not. I mean just because you have two of something doesn't mean you can automatically donate one of them. I mean, is a testicle transplant even feasible and would it eventually start producing your own sperm?

bouv
12-06-2006, 10:05 AM
I wonder if there's enough demand for these to make it profitable, considering how much greater the expense of harvesting from a living donor without compromising their quality of life; I wouldn't be willing to give very large pieces of any of them from the same place, YMMV

Talk to someone who has osteoarthritis, or has torn all the ligaments in their knee and ask them if they want some nice, healty, cartilage or a ligament. These types of tissues are notable for having disatrous results in the artificial department, and even ones harvested from cadavers don't do so hot. And losing one of your knew ligaments wouldn't be that bad, as long as you weren't a very active person.

And someone who has suffered multiple bypasses would love to get their hands on some more big, fat, juicy, leg veins.

I'm not saying there would be a huge demand, certainly not akin to that of a kidney or part of your liver, but it would be there.

Pushkin
12-06-2006, 10:08 AM
A recent copy of The Economist touted a legal trade in kidney donations as a good thing.

mrklutz
12-06-2006, 12:26 PM
A recent copy of The Economist touted a legal trade in kidney donations as a good thing.
There are certainly some good arguments in favor of it. The law allows people to take much higher risk of loss of life in a single year of commercial fishing than is incurred in a kidney donation (0.03% chance of death from donation, if I recall correctly; fishing is something like an order of magnitude higher). If we allow that fishing is an acceptable risk for profit, why not organ donation?

Secondly, it would increase the supply of living-donor kidneys available for transplant. Living-donor kidneys fare better than cadaver kidneys after transplant, and there is a shortage even of cadaver kidneys today.

The only downside I see is that it has the potential to make the transplant process more expensive, thus driving overall health care costs up a bit in the grand scheme of things. That's not a negligible downside, but it seems to me that the benefits outweigh the costs.

The transplant center at Fairview University here in town does a lot of kidney and liver transplants (to the tune of tens of thousands since they were established), many of them with live donors. I'm told the liver donation is far more painful than kidney donation, though.

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