Thursday, November 30, 2006

DOH XI has no way of monitoring kidney business transactions

Kidneys may be a big “buy and sell” business in some parts of the country but the Department of Health has no way of monitoring the different business transactions involving the selling of kidneys.

“We have no way to determine whether a kidney donation has been paid or if it was given voluntarily,” DOH XI Paulyn Jean Ubial said. However, she reiterated that what they are promoting is kidney donation in the real sense of the word.

A paper presented by Francis Aguilar and Lalaine Siruno (both from the University of the Philippines in Diliman) in the 5th Asian Bioethics Conference at the University of Tsukuba in Japan two years ago cited that the sale of kidneys is thriving in the world market with the kidney of a Filipino fetching a price of $1,300 or roughly P65 thousand.

Data from their paper show that cheapest kidney in the world market is the kidney of an Indian which costs a thousand dollars or P50,000 while the highest is that of a Peruvian which ha a market price of up to thirty thousand dollars.

Ubial said she is not aware of kidney business transactions in the city because what they are able to monitor are the linked donations or kidney donations that were recruited by the patient himself or his relatives.

Unlinked kidney donation means the donor was not recruited but the kidney came from cadavers of people who have been in vehicular accidents.

“We have monitored a total of thirty nine kidney transplant operations done at the Davao Regional Hospital,” she said. However, she said, they do not have control over the donations because it is between the patient and the donor.

Ubial said paid kidney “donation” is unsafe for so many reasons. She said paid kidney “donations” focuses more on the commercial value of the donation instead of focusing on the value of saving lives.(lovely a. carillo)

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