Monday, April 6, 2009

Human Organ Trade - agree or disagree?

So we are back to the Human Organ Trade debate with 2 reports in today's Straits Times. One about the Canadian-based Transplantation Society's views, and the other a reprint from the Wall Street Journal. At first glance one would be forgiven for thinking the two articles were rah-rah supporting the organ trade. certainly the headlines give that impression. One reads 'Next Step: Reward Organ Donors', and the other, 'Global Transplant Group Backs Move'.

Hmmm.... Slightly misleading, I think.

Upon closer reading the two articles are clearly disagreeing with respect to the crucial points of reimbursements and payments. The Transplantation Society makes clear their position is appropriate re-imbursements for verifiable expenses. This is totally acceptable to me. In fact, their estimated sum reimbursed in UK and Australia are relatively conservative - ~S$11,000 and S$1000 respectively. Compare this with what had been earlier floated as a balloon in Singapore - S$50,000 - $100,000. A different universe altogether.

Compare this to the other article, which essentially heartily supports going all out to get the organs. Go on, pay for the organ. Find ways to incentivize the donors. Pay the donors! Tellingly the article quotes Minister Khaw as using the phrases 'appropriate incentives' and 'reasonable payments' .

So I leave it to you to figure if the articles agree with each other, and are both similarly supportive of the organ trade.

Ultimately, Singapore, you have to decide what you want.

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