The term organ sale refers to a variety of different practices. People commonly associate it with a situation in which one person who requires or desires money sells his or her kidney to another who needs a kidney. But did you know that it was legal to sell organs in Iran?
Iran is the only country where selling your organs is legal, so demand always meets supply. A kidney costs 231 US Dollars, with the government covering a portion of the cost.
Organ Donation in Spain
When it comes to organ donation, Spain has enviable statistics. According to the most recent data from 2014, 4,360 transplants were performed that year, cementing its position as the country with the highest donation rate globally.
This is due, in part, to the fact that Spain has an opt-out system. Unless they expressly state otherwise, everyone is an organ donor.
Here’s what would happen if you were a Spaniard needing a rión or kidney.
Because Spain’s single-payer health system covers you, the costs of transplantation are entirely covered by national health insurance as long as you seek treatment at a public health facility. If you choose to go to a privately run clinic, you will have to pay some out-of-pocket expenses; however, because the system in Spain is so efficient, few people choose to do so for transplant surgeries.
Assume you go to a public restroom. The National Transplant Organization, part of Spain’s Health Ministry, places you on the organ donation waiting list. It’s a well-organized network with transplant coordinators in several hospitals who have special training as intensive care specialists and also manage donor and recipient lists. (Source: New York Public Radio)
How Long Do You Have to Wait for a Kidney in Spain?
In Spain, the average wait time is less than eight months. The average wait time for a kidney in America varies from 3 to 10 years, depending on where you live, your blood type, and several other factors. (Source: New York Public Radio)
Organ Donation in the US
Nearly 100,000 adult and 1500 pediatric candidates were waiting for kidney transplants in America at the end of 2014.
America has an opt-in donor list, which means you must choose to be an organ donor. This is typically accomplished through DMV registration.
Costs vary greatly depending on your insurance, as they do for most services in the American system. The cost could be around $80,000 per year if you need dialysis before a transplant.
Transplantation necessitates laboratory tests, organ procurement, surgical costs, and immunosuppressive medications after surgery. The average cost of a kidney transplant in 2011 was around $262,000 – but keep in mind that insurance companies can negotiate this price down and end up covering a large portion of this bill. Both Medicare and Medicaid provide substantial assistance with transplant-related costs. (Source: New York Public Radio)
Organ Market in Iran
Selling your organs is perfectly legal in Iran, and it has created an economy among its poorest citizens who see it as a way to make extra rials. It is the only country that accepts cash donations.
Both the government and the organ recipient compensate donors. The official list price for a kidney is around 7 million rials or $230.93 US, of which the government pays 1 million rials.
The benefit of this system, which some ethically oppose, is that people in need of kidneys get them quickly, and donors who donate kidneys are screened and monitored before and after the operation. Also: no wait times. In Iran, supply is effectively meeting the demand for kidneys. (Source: New York Public Radio)
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