|Dateline: Paradise (Jan. 31, 2013)|
|Written by FREEMAN ROGERS|
|Wednesday, 30 January 2013 15:43|
Kidneys for the college
Legislators are right. Instead of whining about recent funding cuts, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College leaders should think outside the box and devise new ways to raise money.
Fortunately, I have a great idea: selling students’ kidneys.
This is really a no-brainer if you think about it. The organs sell for as much as $100,000 on the black market, and almost everyone has an extra. Most donors never even notice a kidney’s absence — and in case they do, Peebles Hospital has a first-rate dialysis unit.
Clearly, then, there’s no reason for young people to be selfish with their spare organs. So I would suggest that HLSCC start with an optional donation programme.
To promote it, the college could appeal to students’ school spirit. A kidney drive with fliers, posters and bumper stickers could urge them to “give part of yourself to your college.”
Hundreds of students would probably answer the call voluntarily. And in case they don’t, there are other options.
Incentives, for instance: The college could allow students to trade a kidney for, say, an A-plus in math. Or, if a student falls asleep in class, he could be anesthetised immediately and lose a kidney as punishment.
If these schemes come up short — though I don’t see why they should — the college could simply require a kidney from every student upon matriculation.
This doesn’t seem like a high price for attending a venerable institution where tuition is free for all belongers.
Of course, a kidney donation programme would not come to fruition overnight.
One hurdle is immediately obvious: Selling organs is currently illegal all over the world.
But if you’re thinking outside the box like me, you’ll instantly recognise this little detail as an opportunity. Why shouldn’t the VI become the first nation in the world to legalise kidney harvesting?
New legislation would be needed, of course, but that should be easy enough: A law could be modelled after the 1984 act that spawned the financial services industry.
After the VI’s transformation into a kidney-tourism destination, unhealthy rich people would flock here by the thousands, spending money right and left.
This would pose another challenge, though: The territory’s existing health facilities aren’t ideal, and the new hospital is unlikely to be operational anytime soon.
To accommodate the growing demand, then, a transplant centre would be needed. Herein lies yet another opportunity. If the college builds a training hospital dedicated to organ transplants, students could use the facility to learn a new skill.
Patients, meanwhile, could receive a discount if they allowed their transplant to be carried out by a trainee.
Some students might even find themselves transplanting their own kidney into someone else. Wouldn’t that scene make a fabulous photograph for an HLSCC brochure?
You’re probably wondering how the school would afford the upfront investment required to fund such plans.
I have an idea for this, too.
Consider the dozens of teachers at HLSCC. Currently, the college pays them all a salary.
But most teachers will tell you that they aren’t in the profession for the money: They’re in it because they love shaping young minds or whatever.
So why should they get paid at all? Instead, why not charge them a monthly fee — and, perhaps, a kidney — for the privilege of teaching young people?
This would save hundreds of thousands of dollars, which could be invested directly into the kidney programme.
Picture it: Kidney sales would skyrocket. The school would make millions, far exceeding the money lost to its recent 10 percent subvention cut. And, ultimately, kidney transplants would become the third pillar of the territory’s economy.
By then, HLSCC would be in a position to branch out into other organs as well. Eyes, I understand, are particularly lucrative.
Yes, the sky’s the limit when you’re thinking outside the box.
Disclaimer: Dateline: Paradise is a column and occasionally contains satirical “news” articles that are entirely fictional.