Question of the Week #67

Without your kidney as a transplant, someone close to you will die within one month. The odds that you will survive the operation are only 50 percent, but should you survive you would be certain of a normal life expectancy. Would you consent to the operation?

Uh… How close are we talking? If it’s a family member, are we talking about a sister? First cousin? Great uncle that I see once every five years? If it’s a friend, are we talking about the guy who could be the best man in my wedding should I ever get married? Someone that I see and enjoy hanging out with multiple times per week? A Facebook friend who assumes we’re still close but really hasn’t seen or spoken to me in 15 years?

Not to be selfish, but with a 50% chance that I’m not gonna make it through the procedure, it’s gotta be someone that I’m really close to. It’s gotta be someone that I really don’t want to see die in a month. That sounds horrible. I don’t want to see anyone die in a month. But, let’s be honest, some deaths affect us more than others. If holding back a kidney means saying goodbye to someone whose absence would change my life, then yes, I would give away the kidney. Screw the consequences. If it’s someone with whom I haven’t spoken in 15 years, sorry. There’s gotta be someone closer to them in their life who’s willing to go under the knife for them.

Kidney Transplant Waiting List

Anyone know if this statistic is accurate?

I actually have no knowledge as to whether that last statement is true or not. I don’t know what the odds are of finding a perfect match between people who need organs and those willing to donate them. On the plus side, if I were to go through with the transplant and I lost the survival coin toss, I’m an organ donor. So everything else I have is good to give away once I’m gone.

*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

One thought on “Question of the Week #67

  1. A lot of people that are close enough (emotionally) aren’t a good match for transplants. First need is to match blood types, then look into other compatibilities.

    What are the odds this person is going to make a full recovery? Are we giving them a full life after this, or just prolonging by a few months an inevitable death? Not to be hateful, but if the person needing the transplant is really old, or has gone through life with behaviors that decrease their chance of survival (heavy drinking and smoking, drug use, etc.), I’m probably not as likely to comply with giving up a kidney. However, I would definitely consider it for a close friend/relative that had a good life to be lived still. If it was my kid, no question. Unfortunately, he and I don’t have matching blood types, so I couldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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