• STV
  • MySTV

Hard-up students 'should sell a kidney for £28k to pay off debts'

An academic at the University of Dundee has sparked an ethics debate by suggesting the organs trade should be legalised.

Donor fear: The sale of organs is a controversial issue.
© STV

Students should be allowed to sell a kidney for £28,000 to help pay off their university debts, a Scots researcher has suggested.

Sue Rabbitt Roff, a senior research fellow at the University of Dundee, said it was time to pilot "paid provision" of live kidneys in the UK, under "strict rules of access and equity".

She said that letting people sell the organ could help them make money to pay off university loans or simply give them the chance to do a kind deed.

She said that the rate of donation of kidneys from the dead and living had not kept pace with the need for the organs and has plateaued at about 2,000 a year in the UK.

In a Personal View article published on the British Medical Journal website, she suggested a move towards regulated paid provision for live donors' kidneys, with the organs allocated in the same "fair" way as they are now.

She wrote: "One reservation that many people express about such a proposal is that it might exploit poor people in the same way the illegal market does now.

"But if the standard payment were equivalent to the average annual income in the UK, currently about £28,000, it would be an incentive across most income levels for those who wanted to do a kind deed and make enough money to, for instance, pay off university loans."

The Scottish Council on Human Bioethics (SCHB) said it was very concerned about the proposal.

Dr Calum MacKellar, SCHB director of research, said: "To place a financial value on human beings or parts of human beings undermines the inherent dignity of the human person and the innate as well as unmeasurable worth of all individuals."

The SCHB said it believed that a market for human body parts would only be feasible as long as there were people poor enough to sell an organ and that it was therefore unethical to utilise financial pressures to obtain human body parts for transplantation.

Dr MacKellar added: "A legal, regulated market in human body parts would end up exploiting those who have very restrictive financial means such as many students and foreigners."
 

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.