Could Paying Kidney Donors Save Money In The Long Run?
A study claims that, compared to the current donation system, offering donors $10,000 for their kidney would improve health outcomes and, consequently, lower costs.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
In a paper published this week in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, University of Calgary researcher Lianne Barnieh and her team crunched the numbers to find out what it would mean to pay people $10,000 for their kidney. They found that over time, assuming a five-percent increase in the number of kidneys available for transplant, the health care system would save $340 over the lifetime of each patient through improved overall net health. Barnieh says they put the price of donation at $10,000 because "we didn't want it to be so much money that it would change someone's life completely...[but] a compensation for the pain and suffering. And to tip the balance of those who are maybe considering donation."
What's the Big Idea?
Under the current, uncompensated donation system, demand far outstrips supply, and experts from a wide range of disciplines have wrestled with ways to correct the imbalance. Naturally, any suggestion of paying for organs raises concerns among bioethicists such as NYU's Arthur Caplan: "A large number of people would not support this strategy...You don't want to make organ donation into an abortion debate." Another approach, which requires people to opt out rather than opt in, is proving successful in countries such as Spain.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Christmas has many pagan and secular traditions that early Christians incorporated into this new holiday.
- Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
- The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
- Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.