You’ve heard people say it when talking about something really expensive: “wow, that’ll cost me a kidney.” The thinking is twofold: you can live with one kidney, and a kidney must be a valuable commodity and worth some big bucks, right? Well, before you rush off to trade that second kidney in for extra cash, there are some very important things you need to know.
Health is vital – this isn’t a simple procedure
You should be in good health, and clear of any chronic diseases that could affect it.
It’s illegal in South Africa to be paid for a donated organ
You cannot be paid for a donated organ in this country – tissue donation is a gift. The costs of the procedure may be covered, but people may not buy or sell organs and tissue as this trade is illegal here in SA.
Donating a kidney may cause you problems with a new medical aid
It may not have crossed your mind, but donating a kidney could cause problems should you ever need to change your medical insurance. A study run by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore discovered that people applying for membership after donating a kidney met one of three responses – the applicants were:
- Charged higher rates,
- Denied membership,
- Listed as having pre-existing condition
In this study, it was even more difficult for candidates to get life insurance cover.
So, if you’re wanting to make a quick buck by donating a kidney, think again. As it turns out, you should only ever donate an organ for love.