I think it is essential for a society to value its kidneys. The importance we give our organs pre-removal affects the importance we place on them post-removal.
In Canada in 2008, our kidneys have no economic status while in the bodies of its carriers. We are completely alone in the world in this regard as most countries have MASSIVE regulations around the management of kidneys.
Most Canadians would agree that you should not be able to remove your kidney and sell it on eBay to the highest bidder. Although it's your body and your kidney, this would not only be a poor bioethical choice, but it is in fact illegal under our laws. As well, it is a nasty procedure; most doctors will not remove a kidney unless forced by medical considerations so those who attempt to remove one or two kidneys from their own bodies are messing around with natural law.
Most Canadians would also agree that a mature kidney, should not be eligible for an elective removal. However, regardless of the fact that this would be an extremely poor bioethical choice, it is in fact legal. As such, Canada should have far greater protections for human kidneys than we do for kids.
By assigning no commercial worth to our unremoved kidneys, we set the stage for a society that continues to lose out on a lucrative source of income. The study of the economics in our country has been clearly addressed by Stephen Harper, and the numbers are stark. Is there a correlation between our nation's deficit and our legal and economic devaluation of kidneys? Of course there is.
Obviously, the greater number of unremoved kidneys, there are the greater the population loses in profitability. And more subtly, by valuing a kid more than an unremoved kidney, we are educating our citizens to believe that there is little importance in enhancing the growth of the next generation of Canadians.
This mindset is not sustainable, nor is it psychologically healthy. Can it be changed in the short term? And will Canada be open to revisiting our views on the advantage of the commerce in organs, specifically kidneys?
I have no choice but to advocate for the kidneys and seek to have their value restored in my Canada. Our collective future depends on it.
The original opinion piece by Rod Bruinooge appeared here. Kidneys as an allegory for pregnancy was first addressed in God wants you to carry your kidney stones to term.