From CBS online News - a different take on the WSJ article. (My italics)Hospital Says No Thanks To Religious Kidney Donor
While Congress is grilling veterans' charities today on not being generous enough, the Wall Street Journal reports on the controversy surrounding a religious group accused of being a little too generous.
Ashwyn Falkingham, 23, is a member of a 30-member religious group called the Jesus Christians that, true to normal cult form, expects members to turn over their savings to the group and forsake family, friends and possessions
. It also advocates donating kidneys to strangers.
Half of the group's members have done it. Falkingham wanted to do it too. He said it was a "simple thing that can help someone." And he's got a point. Nearly 75,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for kidney transplants.
But many hospitals aren't interested in donors who don't have established, personal relationships with the recipient, partly because they fear strangers might be secretly (and illegally) paid for their organs. They also worry these people might be psychologically disturbed or likely to back out.
After finding a recipient online through the website set up by the Jesus Christians' leader, David McKay, Falkingham flew to Toronto in March to meet with doctors and psychologists at a hospital there. They asked if he was coerced into this decision, and he said no.
But his parents disagreed. They were freaked out by the fact that Falkingham refused to attend a family Christmas gathering without at least one other group member, or that he wouldn't discuss his kidney donation plans without the 67-year-old McKay present.
They wrote to transplant programs across the country and to the health minister's office in Ontario laying out their concerns.
The Toronto hospital cancelled his surgery and ruled out Falkingham as a donor. It wrote him explaining that he was motivated by the desire for publicity, it concluded, not altruism.
The recipient, who now needs kidney dialysis, was devastated. "I'm not saying that it was easy for the hospital," he said. "But they were more concerned about their reputation and everything else than worried about someone's life."