Kidney for Sale

It is time to introduce compensation for kidney donors. If we don't, we will continue to face a dual tragedy: thousands of patients who die each year for want of a kidney, and a human-rights disaster in which corrupt brokers deceive indigent donors about the nature of surgery, cheat them out of payment, and ignore their post-surgical needs.

NEW HAVEN – World Kidney Day, to be held on March 12, is part of a global health campaign meant to alert us to the impact of kidney disease. Sadly, there is little to celebrate.

According to the International Society of Nephrology, kidney disease affects more than 500 million people worldwide, or 10% of the adult population. With more people developing high blood pressure and diabetes (key risks for kidney disease), the picture will only worsen.

There are 1.8 million new cases of the most serious form of kidney disease – renal failure – each year. Unless patients with renal failure receive a kidney transplant or undergo dialysis – an expensive life-long procedure that cleanses the blood of toxins – death is guaranteed within a few weeks.