This is the VOA Special English Development Report.
Kidneys are important organs inthe human body. Under normal conditions, the body can perform withjust one kidney, even though most people are born with two. Manypeople develop kidney disease and their kidneys do not operatenormally. Some of these people are able to get a new kidney in atransplant operation. However, many countries do not have enoughkidneys for transplantation.
In developing countries, some poor people sell their kidneys toearn money and improve their living conditions. Researchers say thisis becoming a problem. A new study in the Journal of the AmericanMedical Association reports that people who sold a kidney sufferedfinancial and health problems over time.
Doctors carried out the study last year in southern India. Madhav(MA-thev) Goyal of the Geisinger Health System in State College,Pennsylvania headed the study. He wanted to learn the economic andhealth effects of selling a kidney. The researchers questioned aboutthree-hundred poor people in the city of Chennai (chen-NIGH). Eachperson had sold his or her kidney about six years earlier for aboutone-thousand dollars.
Almost all of the people sold their kidneys to pay back moneythey owed. However, six years later, seventy-five percent of thepeople said they were still in debt. The average family earnings haddropped by one-third following the operation.
Also, eighty-six percent of the people said their health hadworsened since the operation. Doctor Goyal says one possible reasonfor this is that most of the people had to continue physicallydifficult work immediately after their operations. This probablyweakened their health.
The researchers said almost seventy-five percent of the kidneydonors were women. Doctor Goyal says this is troubling because womenin India may be pressured to sell their organs more than men.Finally, the researchers found that almost eighty percent of thepeople would not suggest that others sell a kidney for money.
Most countries, including India, have laws against buying andselling organs from living donors. But in India officials athospitals often fail to enforce the laws. Doctor Goyal says policymakers should re-examine the value of using money to increase thesupply of organs for transplantation.
This VOA Special English Development Report was written by JillMoss.