organ donation

8:39 AM Wednesday, August 03, 2005

In the midst of ecstasies brought about by JRA buying me 4 fat slices of Becky's Kitchen's caramel cake yesterday, and the challenge of eating for the first time in the newly-opened Duke of New York (?) Pizzeria at Rob... I also had to listen as JRA responds to a medical researcher's questions on organ transplant and donation.

The study is basically spearheaded by UP Manila and the National Kidney Institute (?) and financed by St. Luke's.

We were told later on that the main purpose of the study is to actually have a grasp of the Filipino's attitude towards organ transplant and donation.

She said, although it's quite unofficial, that it seems, most Pinoys would rather the organ donation be done with the donor already dead... and they prefer that the donation be done for immediate family and close relatives, not to strangers. Most actually do not exactly want to put a price on an organ, preferring that the beneficiary just voluntarily give something (like an educational plan to the kid of the man who donated something).

We're also not sure if the Catholic Church is against such practice... the way I think Mormons are. Not sure about the stand of other religions on the matter either.

Having discussed the matter earlier, JRA told the researcher of the good point I raised about organ donation... how, in the US, they check your pockets/wallet for a card authorizing donation...and how, here, you lose your wallet the moment you keel over.


The medical researcher told us of a story of a man who was crying during the interview. He gave up a kidney for the price of P150k, but the middle man only gave him P60k for it. Yes, middle men prey on the UNINFORMED marginalized sector of society... those who don't even know that their own lives have been compromised because of what they did.

And yet, more and more indigent Pinoys are making organ donation a means to survive. More and more illegal clinics are performing the operations. More and more of the sick rich (local and foreigners) are paying for organs and capitalizing on our poor.

If you're a man, donating blood every 3 months is ok. But it ceases to be ok if you're doing it for a living! There just has to be respect for one's body...

Thus, St. Luke's hopes to help indigents somehow.

And it is indeed alarming to know how many are walking around one kidney less just because they wanted some quick cash.

I'm reminded of that Maalaala Mo Kaya story where the father sold his kidney... and then had his daughter suffer from kidney problems. He couldn't donate anymore... and the girl's mother wanted to save her kidneys for her other kids (with another man).

And then, there was this man in our barrio who had kidney problems... his youngest daughter was a match, and was willing to offer her kidney up... but the father wouldn't have it. He didn't want his daughter's life compromised so young.

And then, there's that Cayetano case... heartbreaking how a son chose to give up a kidney for his father, who still died after the transplant.


I wouldn't mind being cut up here and there for possible stuff that could save a life, or improve the quality of life of someone... in the event that I die young... provided they stitch me up real nice for the coffin.

And I know I wouldn't mind donating something for any of my kids or siblings... or some child stranger.

I don't take issue with organ donation and transplant... it's genetic engineering, stem cell research and the like that I have some issues with.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter how long you've lived as much as whether you have truly lived and loved.


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