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Donating a kidney is not an easy thing to do. It's major surgery, it takes weeks if not months to fully recover from, and there is a chance something could go wrong. According to the University of Maryland website about kidney donation, the moraltiy rate is 3 in 10,000 .They call that extremely rare, but it would suck to be the 3 people who died. Of course people would risk it for a family member, but for a complete stranger? I'm not so certain living donors would be willing to donate a kidney without some significant compensation.
I'm all for paying people, because it not only would save the person getting the living donor transplant, but take one more name off the transplant list for a cadaver organ. I don't think people know how many people are waiting, and how much politics are involved when a kidney becomes available. It's not just about money, this isn't an issue about rich or poor. Often times, hospitals will choose canidates who are healthier and aren't a risk to their mortality rates, rather than choosing someone who will die without the transplant. That's what happened to my mom.