Organ and Tissue Donation-The Kidney Myth



General Myths

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Sound familar? "A traveler meets a woman in a New Orleans bar and takes her back to his hotel room. He wakes up the next morning to find himself lying in a bathtub, covered in ice. He is in terrible pain and realizes he has stiches in his back. A note left nearby tells him to call 911 because one or both of his kidneys have been removed." Let's debunk this myth by looking at the actual facts - according to National Organ Transplant Act (Public Law 98-507,) it is illegal to buy and sell organs. Violators are subject to fines and imprisonment. Next, let's discuss the actual incision. To remove a kidney, the incision is made on the side of a person's body, not their back. Also, placing a donor in a tub of ice is pointless. An ice bath is not necessary for the successful recovery of an individual who has donated a kidney and could also cause harm. Finally, due to the complex system of transplantation, piracy is practically impossible because of three key factors. First, the process of matching donors with recipients is highly complicated. The United Network of Organ Sharing, UNOS, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to allocating organs. The system of distribution is based on a number of factors including blood type, geographical location, severity of illness and other medical criteria. Also, a high degree of technology is required for transplantation. Highly skilled medical professionals are needed to perform the surgery, along with modern facilities. This large amount of required support for transplantation make it highly unlikely that the transplantation system could be duplicated in secret. Aside from the medical impossibilities, there has never been a documented case of kidney theft.

Official Statement by the New Orleans Police