Organ Transplants and Medical Tourism
From time to time we get calls and emails from individuals seeking organ transplants. The requests not only come from Canadians but individuals from other countries looking to come to Canada or the US for the surgery. Organ transplant cases are probably the most complex kind we could ever assist in because there are so many variables and factors to account for when making arrangements for such a surgery.
For starters, we cannot help someone locate an organ for them. This is actually illegal in all countries around the world, with the exception of Iran. Despite these prohibitions, the trafficking of organs is still done globally on what they call the ‘Black Market’. People are willing to sell their organ(s), such as a kidney, in exchange for money. It’s pretty evident why this would and should not be allowed.
Having A Match As A Donor
Some of the calls we’ve gotten are from individuals that have a family member that is a match for them. In cases like this, we can help, however, the requirements and financial aspects of having it done privately can be quite stringent and cost prohibitive For someone coming from another country to the US or Canada, certain requirements have to be met prior to a hospital even considering doing the surgery.
The out of pocket expense to have an organ transplant surgery would start around $100K USD and go up. The hospital would not only require proof of financial means to pay for the surgery through a verifiable source, but also need proof that the recipient has the financial means or insurance for the follow up care, which is life long, and very expensive. In addition, they would require proper testing to have been done on the donor such as a physical exam, immunological tests, multiple lab and tissue tests, EKG, chest x-ray, psychological evaluation, urine samples and several others should the surgeon feel they are warranted. The US & Canada also require a Visa to enter if you are from certain countries. This would need to be approved in advance as well.
Being A Donor
Unfortunately, waiting for the appropriate organ can take several months to several years. Not everyone is successful in finding a match. One thing you can do to help contribute to those in need is to become a donor should you pass away unexpectedly. The process for registering is very quick, simple and the database is connected nationally.
There is also living donation should you be interested. Living donors can give a kidney, bone marrow and partial lung, pancreas, intestine or liver. This of course, is out of the goodness of your heart as you will not receive any kind of monetary incentive. Things such as plasma and blood are also considered donations that are always needed. For information on how you can be a donor, please visit: https:// www.theorganproject.net