How much is your life worth?

12 Feb

I was reading the following news article

It talks about a doctor “Dr.Horror” who has been tracked down in Canada. In a nutshell, this is what he did

“Kumar, dubbed as ”Dr Horror” by media for allegedly supplying hundreds of kidneys bought or coerced from the country’s poor was reportedly running the operation partly from an unknown location in Canada where his family is said to be living”.

Yes, he was selling kidneys to potential transplant recipients while getting them from the poor people in India. This guy is not the only one, there are numerous others like him. Poor people are usually lured into this with the promise of money and are left high and dry after the surgery ,once their kidney is removed. Pathetic, huh?. Legally, Indian government does not allow live donor transplants to take place unless the donor is related to the recipient. But, there are numerous hospitals which turn a blind eye and accept this since it involves saving a life.

This got me thinking…What would I have done if my mother was not able to donate her kidney ? I was 23 and would have done almost anything for survival. There used to be an agent in the hospital where I was operated. He used to bring people who were interested in selling their kidneys for 100,000 Indian Rupees (~$2500 ). 10 years ago, this amount was quite a handful, especially for poor people. The donor needs to sign somewhere saying he is related to the recipient and knows him well etc etc..and the process was done. I am assuming the agent would get his commission at the end of the day. I would have definitely gone to the agent if all my other resources failed. But, at least he was not cheating them. “That is what I like to think”. Maybe, he was . It was almost a legal transaction where everyone understood what the other person was doing.If I had gone that way, I might have actually given more money and might even be in touch with the donor till today. But, there are numerous others who may not care. And the persons who donated did not think about saving a life. They were there just for the money. Once , during one of my follow-ups, I met a man in the waiting room , who wanted to sell his kidney. He was very paranoid about doing it and wanted to consult the doctor. He wanted to know how my mother was faring after the surgery. He was badly in need of money as his business has tanked and he thought this was the only way to get out of it. I tried to convince him saying that he was saving a life, rather almost giving life to a person .Yes, it was about the money but for an ultimately good cause. He did not understand it and I don’t know if he ever will. I wish I could put myself in his shoes and think like him. It all comes down to priorities, I guess. To me, saving a life is priceless.


Posted by on February 12, 2008 in From AM-KICKING blog


2 responses to “How much is your life worth?

  1. sdpal

    February 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    I dont know if you read JuniorVikatan, a recent article in it reads about the arrest of a doctor (who alone commissioned 100+ crores) who did illegal kidney transplant..
    Saving life is priceless, yes, but stealing it from poor people cannot be forgiven..

  2. Mindframes

    March 1, 2008 at 6:26 am

    Life is as worth as what it takes to keep us alive… Yes, it is a selfish answer. But, that is reality… People capitalize based on market demands. So, regulating it such that the donors get a decent amount and not be cheated or exploited is definitely important…


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