Last week, we posed a question you probably don’t hear every day: would you “donate” a kidney to the tune of $1 million? Your responses were really fun to read. Some were appalled that anyone would even consider taking cash for organ donation. Others were appalled that more people weren’t jumping onto the operating table to collect the handsome reward. And while the post was meant as a completely hypothetical situation that none of us will likely find ourselves confronted with, the topic of organ/tissue/etc. donation is clearly a serious topic that hits home to many.
A few weeks ago, we were indulging our nerd-selves by catching up on a few 60 Minutes and Rock Center episodes saved on our DVR. One particular story on Rock Center really captured our attention and we found ourselves discussing it throughout the week. We thought it’d be interesting to let the discussion to spill over onto the blog to hear your thoughts.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the story. A single mother’s three daughters all have a rare blood condition that requires a bone marrow transplant for their survival. Only 30% of those needing a transplant will find a match within their own family, leaving the remaining 70% to find a match from a stranger on donor lists. The problem is that even if a match is found on the donor list, only 50% of those people ever fulfill their commitment to donate when a match is found. Some don’t want to give up their time, others think it’s too big of a hassle, and others simply don’t respond. To help find willing donors for her children, this desperate mother challenged the federal government’s ban on compensating donors. The woman’s lawyer argues, “Bone marrow is just like anything else in the world… it’s valuable. And if you compensate people for it, you’re going to get more of it, it’s just that simple.” In March, she won her legal battle, making compensation to donors legal so long it’s in the form of coupons or goods (not money).
If you’re interested, you can read/watch the story here, but that’s the gist of it. There’s two sides to every story and those opposed to compensating say that it’s unnecessary and that altruism — not money — should be the motive for donating. And while this particular story only touched on bone marrow, this debate can also extend to other organ donations.
This won’t be a future He Says/She Says topic, because Joanna and I pretty much see eye-to-eye on the issue. In the case of the story we shared, we absolutely think those searching should be able to compensate donors to incentivize and expedite match transplants. There’s definitely a role for regulation and setting maximum compensation amounts to avoid bidding wars and ensure fair access to all income classes. And while we’d love for altruism to be the motive in all donation scenarios, bone marrow is bone marrow is bone marrow, and if you need it, you should be able to do more than just rely on altruism.
Bone marrow regenerates so it’s in a different league than, say, kidney donation. This would likely require even more stringent regulation, but we still think the point remains: if allowing donors to be compensated means more people receive the organs they need, it’s something worth considering. But scientists will probably be growing organs out of test tubes soon, so in all likelihood (and hopefully) this whole post will be moot in a few years.
What’s your take? Yay or nay on compensation for organ, blood, marrow donation? And if you’d like to find out more information on registering as an organ or bone marrow donor, visit organdonor.gov.
In the He Says/She Says series, we discuss financial-ish topics where we agree to disagree.
When I spend my money, I expect to get what I paid for. I think most people do. If I buy a product, I expect it to work. If I order food, I expect it to taste good. If I hire someone’s services (not those kind, sickos), I expect them to do a good job. I’m not looking to be critical. And I’m certainly not looking for opportunities to complain. I promise I’m not one of those people. BUT, when I feel like my hard-earned money is being wasted because the quality isn’t up to snuff, I have no problem making my voice heard.
Joanna and I worked together as servers at a Mexican restaurant soon after getting married. We smartly decided that just moving in with each other and adjusting to that whole transition wasn’t difficult enough, so why not spend every waking minute with each other by getting the same jobs! [If there was a bold or italics to denote sarcasm, it would be applied to that last sentence.] OK, it really wasn’t that bad, but there were definitely days at the restaurant that lead to us getting pretty sick of each other. I’m veering off track. Things aren’t always perfect at restaurants. Almost every day, one problem or another would arise that resulted in restaurant patrons being comped a free meal, dessert, or in the case of the dude that I sorta accidentally spilled an entire pitcher of Sprite on, a free shirt. It was at this job I learned that good businesses are generally happy to make things right for customers that are (or feel) wronged.
I suddenly felt empowered as a customer. I never took advantage of businesses, but I made sure businesses never took advantage of me. And I’ve used any number of means in making my voice heard: emails, tweets, Facebook, phone calls,
mariachi band singing-gram. Here are a few examples:
- Problem: Our luggage sat on the tarmac for two hours during a thunderstorm, ruining a down comforter that was just gifted to us. That wasn’t going to fly (pun intended) with this guy.
Result: They cut us a $200 check. Darn right.
- Problem: There was a freaking bedbug (it was on our bed, it was a bug, and it looked like bedbugs on Google image search) in our Vegas hotel.
Result: Comped our room, offered to pay dry cleaning costs for all of our luggage.
- Problem: While we were on vacation, we sat at a restaurant table for 15 minutes before a server asked if we’d been helped. And then a different server told us they’d be right with us. And then a different one. And finally, we were able to order. And then the food came out cold.
Result: They comped our entire, cold meal. And I peed on their lawn. Not. Who do you think I am?
And there’s a whole lot more where those came from. My success rate is probably 80%. And I make it a point to keep a cool head and never get mad at or berate the person listening to my complaints. Usually, it wasn’t their fault and having been in their shoes, I know they deal with jerks all the time.
“Alright, fine. You complain and you’re a jerk and sometimes you get free stuff from it. So why is this a He Says/She Says? Where’s the ‘she’? WHERE’S THE SHE?!!!!!” you shout in your brain. Well the “she” has a pretty simple view on it all: Joanna would rather let things go. For a couple reasons.
- “Because I get hung up on things and stay mad longer than I should, so it’s best not to worry about it” — It’s the complete opposite for me. I won’t calm down until I’ve addressed the problem, not brushed it aside.
- “Because I’ve never been an opportunist” — Oh, so now I’m an opportunist. Big bad consumer Johnny trying to steal a free meal/flight/hotel room from the little billion dollar companies.
- “Because it’s not worth my time” — Most of the time, it’s the principle of it all. But 30 minutes on hold or drafting an email is usually worth whatever I’m complaining about.
That’s not to say Joanna hasn’t ever complained. In fact, she recently went to get her hair did ombre style (I have no idea what that means, but I hope it’s a cut that looks like a Hispanic man). After her stylist was done, there was no noticeable difference to her hair. Joanna said as much to the stylist who proceeded to bring her manager over. The manager agreed with Joanna and comped the whole visit, which would have been in the ballpark of $130. Proudest husband moment ever. Joanna says she felt bad about it, but we both know she would have felt a lot worse shelling out that kind of money with a crappy cut.
So do you make your dollar’s voice heard when trouble arises? Or would you rather avoid the confrontation, even if the price of non-admission sets you back a few bucks?
Our hearts are with those affected by the devastation left by the Oklahoma tornadoes. While this post is focused on building up your own emergency fund, there are certainly victims in Oklahoma who could use help in the wake of this very real emergency. If you feel so inclined, visit the Red Cross website to find out how you can help. For this post we’re getting back to ...
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When Johnny and I lived in Boston, we stumbled upon the Boston Haymarket. Rain or shine, the Haymarket is open every Friday and Saturday of the year, offering up some super cheap produce. The first week we walked into it, Johnny and I bought a quite a loot of fruits and veggies. As we walked home to our apartment, we added up the contents of ...
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In The OFB 50 States Project, you the readers spill the beans about your state: the good, the bad, and the delicious. And thus provide “forever place” seekers (like yours truly) a useful resource in their search. We’d love to hear about your state! To be a part of this project, click here to fill out the form! The Facts Low State Taxes Ranking: 47 Low Cost of Living ...
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Our baby girl was a bit of a wreck last week. She got her four-month shots, and for a few days she didn’t feel very good. One minute she’d be all smiles and giggles, but the tiniest blip could set her into crying at the top of her lungs. And vice versa. One moment she’d be crying and then she’d smile and kick her legs ...
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