“…With Functioning Kidneys for All”
“…With Functioning Kidneys for All”
Kidneys are defined as a pair of significant organs that carry out a number of blood cleansing functions and chemical balancing in an unrelenting manner within the body. Hence, it is of great importance for every individual to have a clear understanding on the way that kidneys work in order to maintain health. Kidneys are located near the middle section of the back below the ribs, one at every side of the spine (Steiner, 2004). They are known to be very delicate reprocessing machines that process wastes and excess water in human body. This water becomes urine flowing through to the bladder for storage until it is released through urination. Wastes found in blood are as a result of the normal breakdown of active tissues like muscles and from consumed food. This waste is always sent to blood vessels immediately the body has takes what it requires for energy purposes and self-repair. Thus, incase the kidney fails to remove the given wastes they become toxic and cause severe damage to the body. Most people experience kidney failures through an infection of nephrons, which filters the wastes. The damage could be through an injury, or poisoning. Major diseases that cause kidney failure include diabetes and high blood pressure.
Postrel (2009) takes the position that a good number of people in the United States and in the world as a whole are losing their lives daily because of the significant limitation in the availability and transplantation of kidneys. This is because it is very difficult to identify people who are ready to donate their kidneys. Moreover, it is hard to acquire the right kidney in terms of compatibility due to blood group differences. Research shows that a large number of people are on the waiting list for kidney transplants with hopes that someone will pass away in order for them to have a kidney towards saving their lives. Everyone’s life is very important therefore should not be taken for granted at all costs. It is very possible to rescue all the people waiting for the kidney transplant. This can be achieved by accepting the idea that kidney failure is part of us and thus needs serious attention.
In addition, more efforts should be put in, in order to achieve better ways that could encourage healthy people in willful donations of kidneys to suffering individuals. This is quite achievable because as noted with the occurrence of AIDS, a lot of efforts were put in to ensure that people were enlightened on how to prevent and manage the disease and as later noted, the levels of affected individuals did reduce drastically (Barney, & Reynolds, 2008). The same efforts can be applied in handling kidney issues and donation requirements. Therefore, with the right attitude among kidney patients, doctors and the public, the list of those waiting for a kidney donor can be reduced or even eliminated. This is because it is not necessary for an affected individual to wait for someone’s demise in order to acquire a kidney donor; healthy individuals volunteer are able to donate one of their kidney and save a life. Therefore, I do support Postrel’s view that, there is a functioning kidney for everyone; the kidney problem can be eliminated because its cause is clear that the solutions needed are readily available.
The problem of lack of kidney donation continues to persist despite the availability of the medical expertise and improved technology, the available supply of relevant health care providers and the appropriate tools in terms of efficiency for the completion of several donations that result into the reduction or elimination of the problem (Steiner, 2004). This problem thus, continues to prevail mainly due to inadequate quantity of replacing kidneys. This lack of enough kidneys occurs due to the purchasing and selling of kidneys is always referred as criminal acts acting in the United States (Postrel, 2009, July). According to economists, permitting the kidney buying and supplying may lead to an increase in the number of kidneys available for transplants. This inference offers the argument that supplying a functioning kidney for all individuals is true. Nevertheless, economists additionally assert that despite the fact that an increase in number of available kidneys for transplants would lower the rate of the present inadequacy, there would still be some insufficiencies in the arrangement.
It is true that the government’s prohibition of the sale and purchase of kidneys is causing unnecessary suffering and early deaths to a notable number of people. However, the prohibition stems from the fact that individuals who benefits from the present system prefer maintaining the current status quo (Barney, & Reynolds, 1998). This motivates them towards participating in rent-seeking actions to keep away from participating in the buying and selling of kidney. Furthermore, income disparities noted in various groups would permit rich individuals requiring a kidney to increase the price against the inadequate supply towards acquiring an organ at the peril of the underprivileged. This makes the poor to be priced out of the market hence doing without a transplant. It is also argued that if there were free markets for kidneys, only the less fortunate people would supply their kidneys making such business to be one sided due to monetary deficiencies. Additionally, a market dealing with essential body parts with the less fortunate being the main sellers would lead to coercive practices from the affluent as the resource bearers and therefore controllers within such an economy. This is obviously viewed as being morally outrageous.
A functioning kidney for all the kidney patients could be achieved through eliminating economic shortages. Presently, the opportunity cost of the kidney is higher than the price of kidney demand hence implying that some people would still not acquire a kidney. This inefficiency is attributable to shortages in medical services. Therefore, by eliminating the economic shortage within the kidney market, an effectual free market together with the process of the current means of supporting kidney donation may ensure that clinical shortages are eliminated. This means that every person benefiting directly due to kidney donation may easily acquire a kidney due to the covered demand. In fact, only a small population of the country is in need of a kidney donation although the demand is limited (Steiner, 2004). The state acts as the major player for all kidney transplants. The good thing with the nature of the given curves is that they are indicative of the fact that transplants and kidney donations can be satisfied.
There can be a functioning kidney for all individuals through creating an increase in the number of the available kidneys. Research shows that the number of living donors both related or unrelated have recently increased. However, this rise in number donors has not been able to match with the increasing rates of kidney demand. Various efforts have been put in place to try to increase the number of the already available kidneys, inclusive of protocols surrounding transplant patients with a potential donor of either ABO compatibility or a positive crosshatch (Anderson & Barnett, 1999). In addition, there have been protocols towards pairing exchanges and accepting non-direct donors.
Limiting access to the waiting list will also ensure a functioning kidney for every kidney patient. It has been argued that the kidney shortage is artificial in nature and it has been developed by those who have a vested desire to promote such transplants. However, in real sense, people suffering from end stage renal diseases have a choice to make between having a transplant and a dialysis. With this option, most individuals prefer transplants owing to the permanence factor as opposed to the intermittent nature of dialysis. Nevertheless, the society and the government should try all means possible to ensure that the numbers of the patients on the waiting list is limited to reduce the waiting time for the presently waiting. The process of limiting access on the waiting list could be achieved through encouraging a lower potential for long-term success through dealing first with older patients on the list, especially those with renal diseases, and limiting the access to individuals with diabetics, women and children that have the worst long-term outcomes.
The preceding approach offers an alternative and pragmatic solution of the deficiency issue by focusing on the demand factor. Contrast this with the earlier arrangements that are centered on the supply part of the relationship. Through a reduction of needy individuals, then the supply required within the given arrangement can be easily met (Steiner, 2004). However, this approach is quite limited by the fact that achieving supply changes within a given market is easily achievable by the fact that producers tend to less in number as opposed to consumers. The supply approaches therefore tend to be more applicable in this situation as opposed to the demand approaches. For effectuality purposes, it would be beneficial to adopt the supply-intensive methods towards achieving higher success.
It is also argued that the view of having a functioning kidney for all can become possible through providing the necessary education to potential donors concerning the idea of maintaining life with a single kidney. Those who donate their kidney should know that through the existence of a free markets such fears of living with one kidney would be eliminated hence leading to a reduction in the cost of the selling the kidneys (Stein, 2008). Therefore, despite the argument that kidney sellers will always be relatively poor, uneducated and low class people, their full understanding of the potential risks of such decisions cannot be underestimated. In our daily lives, people risk their lives to many situations with promises from the government being remunerated through either financial approaches or non-monetary approaches. Therefore, it should not be objected when a person chooses to incur a health risk by offering a kidney sale as a means towards earning income while at the same time preventing an early loss of a life and enhancing another human being’s health.
It is should be noted that a free trade for kidneys together with another person taking charge of the fee helps a lot in overcoming the present law system that does not allow the buying and selling of kidneys. This would help in ensuring that every person in need of a kidney transplant is catered for translating to the fact that not more a thousand individuals would encounter early deaths each year because of lack of a kidney transplant. Additionally, no people would be suffering on the waiting list for the appropriate kidney to become available by donation. However, present guidelines regarding commercial activities in terms of kidney treading require supportive edicts through a reform process.
The reforms will also ensure that politicians do not get a chance to misuse the country’s limited resources as a way of gaining control of artificially limited kidneys as well as the donors. Therefore, by developing a well-designed government system that will assist in dealing with the general wellbeing of the donor in terms of remuneration packages, then the healthy populace will be motivated towards donation patterns. Such a system should involve educational programs, waiting periods, and follow-up care programs for the donors (Stein, 2008). These provisions are there to create awareness and motivate people wiling to be kidney donors to achieve this without the fear of any risks. Thus, with all these in place, every patient will be able to acquire a kidney and thus a life saved and improved.
Anderson, W. L., and A. H. Barnett. (1999). Waiting for Transplants. The Free Market 17, 1–2.
Barney, D., Jr., and L. Reynolds. (1998). An Economic Analysis of Transplant Organs. Atlantic
Economic Journal, 17, 12–20.
Postrel, V. (2009, July)…With Functioning kidneys for all. The Atlantic. Retrieved from: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/07/with-functioning-kidneys-for-all/7587/
Stein, A. (2008). Kidney Transplants Explained. New York, NY: Class Publishing Ltd.
Steiner, R. (2004). Educating, evaluating, and selecting living kidney donors. Boston, MA: Springer.