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Spare Kidneys – Something Your Money Cannot Buy!

July 13th, 2008 by Wai Loong (2 Comments)

Heard of the The Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) of Singapore?

That’s right, the sale of human organ is absolutely prohibited in Singapore.  If you deal with animal organs, maybe that’s a bit different.

Yesterday, Tang Wee Sung, the chairman of CK Tangs (one of the oldest departmental retail store in Singapore) was charged over the illegal transaction of human organ.  Tang Wee Sung is the second son of the late and highly respectable businessman, Tang Choon Keng 董俊竞.  CK Tang, who rose from rags to riches in the early days when SIngapore was still part of the British colony.

It was heartbreaking to hear about the case of the Tang family, one family who I always remembered and respected since I was a kid, being involved in something all of us may become completely incomprehesible, but largely forgivable, less the monetary transaction.

Why Do I Say That?

Simple.  No one wants to die.

As Steve Jobs once said, no one wants to die; even those who want to get to heaven do not want to die to get there.

Imagine you are diagnosed with long time diabetic and kidney failure is inevitable.  Without a kidney transplant, you will probably die in a year or even months.

Imagine you are extremely wealthy too.  You have the financial resources all set to track down suitable kidney donors.  Kidneys by the way, are not mechanical spare parts.  I’m not a medical professional, but I do know that the recipient’s body can easily reject a foreign part if it doesn’t like it hanging around.  This can cause a ton of complications and even result in death.

Imagine now, you’ve found someone who is suitable for such transplant.

Unfortunately, the person is a foreigner, probably someone in the 3rd world where daily survival is a major problem.

Will You Pay To Live Another Decade If You Can Afford?

Sure, money is not everything.

Money cannot buy you happiness when you are terminally ill.

But if money can trade you an extra 10 years, can you ignore its potential?

Listen, I’m not trying to justify anything.  I’m not even into supporting illegal organ transplant.

Reality brings us to the attention of what life may be all about.  Think about it.  If someone were to pay you $300,000 to save a life, would you do it?  Nope?  What about $1,000,000, $5,000,000 (without ever sacrificing your life at the same time)?

Truth to be told, we’re all devils and saints.  Devils in us when we can trade anything others see in demand just to be a little better off in our living conditions.  At the same time, the saint in all of us want to do make that all differences in others, especially when it comes to matters like life and death.

Remember folks tales where the hero would want to trade in their life to prolong the lives of their loved ones?  Who wouldn’t?

You Are Automagically Opt-in To Contribute Your Spare Parts.

The Human Organ Transplant Act allows for the kidneys to be removed in the event of death due to accidents for the purpose of transplantation. All Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents* between the ages of 21 and 60 years are included under HOTA. They will have priority in receiving a cadaveric organ if they need one. However, they can also opt out of HOTA if they do not wish to donate their organs when they die.
On 21 January 2008, the Human Organ Transplant (Amendment) Bill was passed by Parliament to include Muslims into HOTA.
Muslims will be included under HOTA from 1 August 2008.
– Sources: Ministry of Health: Human Organ Transplant Act

Yes, you read that correctly.

If you ever want a kidney transplant, you’ll have to wait for someone of age 21 to 60 to die.  With only 40 years give and take 1 year.  This leaves an extremely low probability of finding a suitable donor as your death clock ticks louder.

Even if you do find a living donor, the person may not ever consider helping you out (the devil inside is at work).  No amount of money in your CPF can ever hope to be of any good – if they ever can be used for such purpose in the first place!

If you hate people ripping you up on your death for any useful spare parts (hopefully), you can always opt-out.

Conclusion:

Though I may be a bit crude in my own views, I seek your forgiveness.

The truth is, you can rest assure that there will be a ton of people waiting in long queues to trade their body parts.  Prohibiting such trade is a wise move for the greater good of humanity.  Unfortunately, every life is just as precious.  No one can wait indefinitely for an organ transplant.  No one wants to suffer the torment of failing organ in their body.

Survivals of kidney patients will probably tell you it’s a miracle if they ever survive their ordeals.  There are literally uncountable stories on the Internet (do read them in the related post section), and they often warm our hearts and remind us that goodwill does and still exist on this money-scented world.

The world would be a lot better place if a global agency exist to quickly track and mediate organ transplant, hence reducing the pains of sufferers.

To wrap up…

Be a responsible human being.

Do take good care of your own health and watch what you eat.

Stay hungry, stay foolish and live a life with passion!

Resources:

  1. Kidney-for-sale: CK Tang chairman charged with 3 counts
  2. Middleman to be paid $300,000 to get kidney for CK Tang boss
  3. C. K. Tang (Tang Choon Keng)
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::Comments::

2 Responses:

1
Yen Thim Wai on July 17th, 2008 at 12:40 am

Money make wonders…then how about purchase marriages? If you have the money, you will have a chance. I use the word chance. If you do not have any money, save your effort and no need to talk anymore.

2
Wai Loong on July 17th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Wow! You’re even considering buying a marriage?
What’s the chance?

I don’t know about you, but probably you’ve got to pay a really high price and I wonder if there is ever happiness out of such deals?

Wait a minute…

What do you really want at the end of the day; the thing you want out of money? Is it happiness, health etc?

If it’s everything that a kidney can give you, I dare say it’s everything you can hope for – that it’s still far promising to be alive than dead. 🙂

Life is really beautiful. Be grateful everyday that you’re alive and live with passion!

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About Insights, Inspirations, Tranquility, Peace and Harmony

Ng Wai Loong

Wai Loong is an electronics engineer by profession. He currently resides in Singapore, a thriving hub at the heart of South-East Asia. When he is not so stress out on the computers or laboratory, he enjoys value reading, jogging at his own pace and blogging in his spare time. Other times, he likes to catch up with some close friends over a cup of latte or teh tarik. As a gift from this friend, you are invited to interact freely with him on his personal blog.

PS: May the person reading this blog transforms his/her businesses, finances, relationships and life for ALL to WIN!