Organ Transplants

Bob Hickey, who lives near Vail, had needed a transplant since 1999 because of kidney disease. He met donor Rob Smitty of Chattanooga, Tenn., through Matching Donors.com, a for-profit Web site created in January to match donors and patients for a fee.

On Wed. the transplant was performed. It is the first “publicly brokered” transplant to occur in the United States. It is currently illegal to pay donors so Rob Smitty, the donor, was not paid (Hickey did cover Smitty’s expenses). Hickey did pay to have his name listed by MatchingDonors.com and this has upset a lot of people. No one seems upset, however, by the fact that the Hickey’s doctors were paid, his nurses were paid, the hospital was paid etc.

See my article for more on organ donation. Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber comments on the definition of death and another organ donation case in the recent news.

Thanks to Taggert Brooks for the link.