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February 12, 2003

Consequences of Selling a Kidney in India

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(6):697. doi:10.1001/jama.289.6.697-a

In Reply: In response to Dr Steiner, it is often difficult to identify precisely what is being advocated in the name of organ sale. A kidney exchange program (in which no payment is involved) is entirely different than selling one's organs for money. Steiner cites the statistic that as many as 25% of kidney recipients may return to dialysis. The finding might well be used to argue more strongly against kidney sales. I am also doubtful that being successfully recruited to join a professional football team is analogous to being successfully solicited in an Indian slum to sell one's kidney. Most important, Steiner suggests that "outright kidney selling" might go forward "uncoerced." However, if the "practicalities" are an "insurmountable" issue, then organ sale should be opposed even more steadfastly.