The Kidney Dialogues: Saving A Stranger's Life

by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

I donated a kidney to a fellow animal activist (stranger) in November, and it was absolutely one of the best things I ever did, and I would do it again in a flash. I know some people are frightened of surgery, but many people are not, and those people might want to consider donating. Risks to the donor are minimal, the rewards of saving a life are huge, and studies have shown that donating doesn't affect lifespan or quality of life. (Unless you count being limited to one alcoholic drink a day a limitation of quality of life, which I guess some people would). I have nothing against paying people to donate (assuming proper safeguards against exploitation exist), but the experience of donating is, to quote Sally Satel, "sublime." Here is my article about the experience.

If other readers have stories like this please send them in.