Social Question

6rant6's avatar

Would you sell a kidney?

Asked by 6rant6 (13692points) February 24th, 2011

Imagine that you got a call (if you don’t have a phone, don’t answer). You have been identified (don’t worry about how) as the only possible candidate to donate a kidney to an unidentified person.

They tell you that they can’t abridge confidentiality by telling you who the recipient is, but you get the impression that they it might be someone you don’t like. They say if you refuse to donate under these conditions, that will be the end of it. The person will die and you will never learn who it was.

Would you give the kidney… that is, would you SELL a kidney? And what would your price be?

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23 Answers

Jude's avatar


I would donate it.

FutureMemory's avatar

No. I wouldn’t give up a body part, even if I have two of them, under such shady conditions. Come at me correct or don’t come at all.

blueiiznh's avatar

I would donate it. My Drivers License also identifies me as a donor.
I also would ensure it was on the up and up and through a major donor organization. I don’t give out kidneys in shopping mall parking lots.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, I wouldn’t – I would think that there is a chance in my life that I could donate it to someone in my family or to someone I know and care about.

JmacOroni's avatar

I don’t think I would spontaneously donate a kidney under these conditions. I would not sell an organ under any circumstances.
People are dying every day and in desperate need of a transplant, if I were going to just randomly give away a kidney, I wouldn’t decide to do so because I got a bizarre phone call.
Not to mention that the decision to donate a kidney is massive. The lifestyle changes to follow can be significant, and that isn’t something to be taken lightly.

TexasDude's avatar

Personally, I’d be more likely to just donate it for free.

That said, I have zero qualms about people selling organs if they choose.

augustlan's avatar

I couldn’t, because I’m probably the one who needs the kidney you’re donating. If I could though, I would. For free.

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

At the moment, I would…it would definitely help pay for collage >_>

cynicaldeath's avatar

No…I don’t like it when people push ideas onto me. Like “Oh you must do this, or else you’ll regret.” or “This is such a good idea, you Have to do it.”

No thank you, I’ll do some research and decide who to give my kidney to based on my own decisions.

Odysseus's avatar

@xjustxxclaudiax , I think you should really consider it.

ratboy's avatar

I’d have no qualms about selling someone else’s organs.

syz's avatar

Nope, ‘cause I only got one!

theninth's avatar


Wait… does it have to be my kidney?

6rant6's avatar

I actually know someone who donated a kidney to a stranger. She put herself on the list for personal reasons. And someone got “the gift of life”. I understand the recipient is very thankful to her. I guess it would be nice to have someone in your life who never questioned that you were the giver in the relationship.

Seelix's avatar

I feel exactly the same way as @Simone_De_Beauvoir. I have no problem donating my organs when I die, but while I’m alive I’d rather hang on to them in the event that someone close to me needs them. Either way, I wouldn’t sell a kidney.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I wouldn’t do it. I am an organ donor and when I die, they can give them to who ever needs them. While I’m living though, I want to keep my organs in case someone close to me (my husband, children, etc) needs them and I’m a match.

6rant6's avatar

@Seelix , @Simone_De_Beauvoir No judgment implied, but why is selling your body parts off limits when selling your life eight hours at a time is so… bourgeois.?

Seelix's avatar

I wouldn’t work if I didn’t have to do so to survive. Selling body parts is not necessary to survive. Maybe if I were in serious financial straits and needed the money desperately, I would consider it, but otherwise, no.

6rant6's avatar

@Seelix Well, perhaps if you sold the kidney, you wouldn’t have to work. Maybe you could get a nice car, adopt some war orphans, have the Blue Man Group at your next pool party…

Seelix's avatar

@6rant6 – I suppose that might be true, but that doesn’t solve my ethical dilemma of selling body parts. If I ever did it, it’d be a very specific set of circumstances (which I can’t define either here or to myself), not for the luxury of not having to work.

6rant6's avatar

@Seelix I think lots of people would describe it as an ethical dilemma. I wonder why, though.

I suppose there’s just the linguistic association with “selling your body.” Although clearly this isn’t the same thing as prostitution. I have a feeling this may be a big part of the instinctive aversion.

Then there’s, “It’s not something I did anything to earn.” But of course if someone say inherited money from a lottery win, I doubt they’d feel ethically compelled to reject it.

What about hair? If someone wanted a wig of your hair would you grow it out and sell it to them? What if they wanted your corpse (at a time of your choosing) for, I don’t know, genetic research?

I can see being creeped out if they wanted an eye or something. That would be hard to see.

And self-preservation makes it reasonable to approach any surgery with skepticism. Still, we overcome that natural aversion when it’s for the benefit of our health or comfort and sometimes for our self-perception or job suitability.

So… name your price!

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