He Just Wants To Stay Alive!

Head of retail empire, Tang Wee Sung nabbed for trying to pay $300K for a kidney.

The way I see it. The man didn't steal the kidney. He didn't twist anybody's arm for it. He's willing to pay $300K for it. In fact, if you place a higher price on it, he'd probably pay too, He just Wants To Stay Alive!

What is so wrong about that ?

Everything has a price. Geishas put a price on their virginity. Prostitutes put a price on sex. We have a price for our time. SO if someone has two kidneys and feels that selling one of them to help someone else stay alive is ok at a certain price, then what is wrong with that?

Yes.. bring up all the bullshit about ethics. It's the way of the world!!! If you have money to procure something and the supplier is willing to sell, you can buy it. Unless we're still some communist state... ??

Meritocracy. Simple.

Is it ethical to Stop someone from procuring something he can afford, simply because some other people cannot afford it? Whoa... who put YOU in a position to decide who can live or be left to die?!

What irks me is... that this kind of illegal thing is going on because we made it illegal. So you get this bozzo middleman here who is about to make a deal with Tang's Boss to receive $300 000 for a kidney... and the actual kidney donor only receives about $20 thousand??? If it were legal to sell kidneys, proper procedures can be put in place, proper testing and aftercare(for the donor, paid by the recepient of the kidney of course). I never said it should come cheap. I'm just saying we don't have to turn it into a crime.

And don't give me crap about it not being ethical because we should not play God. Let's all do away with medicine and education and technology then. Let's all live in mud huts and die at the age of 12.

Unlike clonning, we are not attempting to create lives. We are trying to Save them.

And don't come up with excuses like.. if we allow this, then where do we draw the line? It's a line. You can sit down and damn well draw it. What's legal and what's not. Just think... if adoption were illegal... we'd still get people procuring baby girls from China or wherever, just that it'll happen under the table, and we'd have no way of ensuring that no party is treated unfairly.

You're not killing someone by buying one of their kidneys. They're a willing party. You're not secretly knifing them and harvesting their kidneys. Make it legal. We have the advancements to make this work. We are able to legislate it so that the donor does not get the short end of the stick. No one can be forced. He is not just paid, but also taken care of to make sure he lives a normal, if not better, life after transplant.

Would I give my kidney to someone? Most probably not. Would I sell it? heck no. But I still think it's my perogative to have the option to decide what to do with MY kidney.

There are plenty of people out there who need each other. People who are suffering and living in dire poverty and need money. People who have enough money but are going to die because they need kidneys. If you have one or the other, wouldn't a trade off make both your lives better?

When I think about ethics. I think about alleviating suffering and preventing death. When you deny someone of an organ he's able to attain which could save his life, is THAT what you call ETHICS?

Post Note : 13July2008
I brought this toic up over dinner today... and my father does not support legalising organ trading. He said... just because some rich guy got caught, Singpore is re-assessing the restriction. I am appalled!!!

Roughly what I remember of our conversation:
DAD - What about the poor fellas? Cannot afford... so only the rich buggers survive?!

HOLLY- Why not? It's the same with any treatment... if the rich can afford better and more expensive treatment.. why should they be deprived of it just because the poor cannot afford it?!

DAD- No.. no.. rich or poor, they should go on the waiting list like everyone else. Then those who are more critical will get it first.

HOLLY- But there are not enough organs available to save them. Which is why we should legalise trading so there's enough to go around.

DAD- If they allow it, then the rich will just drive the market prices up. Higher and higher.

Then we came to the consensus that the government (hospitals) should be the ones who acquire the organs through trade/purchase, and then give it to people on the waiting list based on urgency. And not just let it be a free and easy trade market kind of thing where it can be easily abused.

I'm actually quite happy with that conclusion.

What do you think?


  1. We are living in a weird world after all...

  2. Anonymous1:50 pm

    I was thinking "slippery slope" until you said this -

    "And don't come up with excuses like.. if we allow this, then where do we draw the line? It's a line. You can sit down and damn well draw it."

    Kudos. Well argued. The importation of labour as domestic help is also, in a way, the poor trading their lifespan for money. If organ trading is exploitation, then "exploitation" can be applied to many legal and widespread practices.

  3. Anonymous3:10 pm

    hmmm... I was thinking that this guy may not personally be unethical, depending on his motive... but imagine a situation where suppliers may resort to getting their "supplies" forcibly for their own profit. I would think that setting restrictions to the means of the demand mkt will help protect certain people. I agree that the law is often too inflexible, but that said, there are too many people to manage, among whom there are those who are distorted and dangerous beyond our imagination.
    just my penny worth of thoughts. :)

  4. Hey ya josh.. yeah indeed... weird world :)

    Nocturn.. yes, thank you for bringing up domestic help (maids)... I was trying to think of that when posting, but I only cld think of adoption of china baby girls.. cos we all know they aren't really "adopted" but paid for. But that's more rampant in the US, not in singapore. The point on domestic help exploitation here in Singapore is more relatable and real.

    Anonymous.. true.. there are too many people to legislate. But if we can monitor chewing gum usage and sale.. I'm sure we can squeeze that extra bit of focus into this matter. If it's banned, it'll still happen in secret and some people end up getting fucked over. at least if it's legislated and legal, most people in singapore would be willing to go through proper procedures to procure a legal kidney and get in done in a good hospital here rather than resort to dangerous and blackmarket means.

    Thank you all for your comments. Much appreciated. I'm just testing the reception of more global issues on my blog.. and it seems my readers prefer when i blog about my hair and fluffy stuff :(

  5. Anonymous6:09 am

    As much as I understand your point about capitalism, the problem isn't that. The problem with buying body parts on the black market, is two fold. First, for Tang, there is no guarantee where the kidney will come from or if it is without disease (i.e. AIDS). Second, and more importantly, most black market body parts are procured without the consent of the donor. Most black market donors are kidnapped and often killed for their organs. It is the murders for organs that is the biggest problem with that black market.

  6. its really a tacky issue , i think they are just sway to get caught ..i m sure many other transc like this gets away scath free ..but the authorities cant be lenient on pple breaking the law , if not it will encourage more pple to do it..and its a really a supply / demand issue..if the black market is rampant ..who knows where the kidney comes from? you might wake up next morning with one less kidney in a 3rd world country..

  7. Anonymous10:14 am

    I agree with you for not making this illegal. And ofcourse like you said there should be a system in place such that there will not be any repurcussions. Although i never know of anyone needing transplant personally, so i didn't know how difficult it can be. But i have heard alot about how long it takes and the tedious process from media sources. But when Tang was involved in the organ transaction, it does spark off the possibility of a "organs" market. Having the market inplace might be benificial in the long run ( it was precisely, because that there isn't a market in the first place that causes the high cost for the organ), i.e. when there is a market involved, not just would the price becomes lower in the long run, but also there will be more willingness to do researchs such as stem cell for organ growing. I believe that organ buying should not be made illegal,eventhough right now it seems too expensive and only exclusive to the few that can afford, in the future under the motivation of the market, things would be very different.

    ps. we still love to hear you talk about the fluffy stuff


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