In the United States, about a third of kidney donations come from living donors. Fry-Reveres exploration of the medical ethics of compensating organ donors takes us deep inside Iranian culture to provide insight and understanding into how Iran has solved its kidney shortage. And the problems it has run into are poor country problems. Russ: Well, let's put that--let me just comment on the first thing first; and then we'll get to the moral issues, and one of my favorite words, the 'commodification' of things. But on the surface, Roy Williams appears to be a really fine, wonderful human being.
Has this become a cause for you? We should only allow middle class people to donate kidneys. Embassy in Tehran, in part due to sanctions. Do they seem satisfied with it? But it isn't very high. If it's only going to make a small dent in it, these people sometimes get turned down. But he comes across that way. Now, of course we don't have a free market in surgical procedures. In addition, kidneys from a living donor have a significantly better long-term survival rate than those from a deceased donor.
The average kidney from a deceased donor lasts 10 years, while one from a living donor averages about 15 years, according to Dr. There is a lot of charity to help poor patients pay donors, but in some regions of the country they are particularly poor--like in the Kermanshah region, that charity runs out about halfway through the year. And they are forced to--they are not forced, but they are fooled into selling a kidney for far, far less than the patient is actually paying. In this case it's working with the public to have it happen. All calculations are done per selected blood type.
This would be one of the things I would be happy to take. And to come back full circle on our sharing economy, I think we are moving toward a world of driverless cars, which I think would be a great thing. And that's--motorcycle helmet laws have actually decreased the number of available donor kidneys. All of those interviewed stressed the altruistic nature of the program — even as graffiti scrawled on walls and trees near hospitals in Iran's capital advertised people offering to sell a kidney for cash. There are some other problems with the system, though, that people complain about-- Guest: I'm not sure I would say that it works pretty well. Russ: That's just my little soap box. I'd love to see other countries do it, even not as well.
Guest: That would solve a lot of problems. No matter how, what their motivation or poverty. And very poor people tend to come in sicker than middle class people. But then they lose their reputation and they go out of business. But it's not something--what we're talking about isn't something new, to add that extra financial pressure.
But that's how it's supposed to work, now. So, it's not like you just go in and, you know, you take a pill. And as you said a few minutes ago, it seems there's nothing really immoral about it. Guest: It's a pleasure to be here. When I returned from Iran, I realized my adventure had so much more to offer than what might go into an academic monograph.
It's bad especially for poor people. Their assets were frozen overseas. But a lot of people didn't come in again, and they found that the donors had given the transplant organizations fake telephone numbers. Russ: Maybe they don't trust-- Guest: I'm not sure what that means. And I would just say--let me say it in a more polite way.
Debtors can be imprisoned in Iran. That's fine-- Guest: Isn't that true? Russ: Well, I understand the idea that you don't want to go into a doctor's office if you feel okay, because they might want to take something else out. Donating a kidney is far less dangerous than many other jobs. So, it's--I think it's wonderful that we have essentially a laboratory. Russ: Yup; we're going to get to that. So, it's an interesting phenomenon. Once that confidence builds, the price would come down even further as more donors—reassured that kidneys would be available should their loved ones need them—come into the market.