Selling a Kidney

Regina Cano

Hearing all types of stories that have occurred around the world hasn’t immunized me from the surprise of things that happen here in Cuba due to material shortages.  In other societies there are situations I’ve heard spoken of as usual events, as if delayed echoes, but which are still not common in our country.

And people! A generally known secret came to my attention concerning the idea of a 30-year-old guy to sell one of his kidneys.

From the proceeds of this sale, the person in question has the intention of putting a new roof over his and his family’s heads, as well as getting all the basics that go in a home: a refrigerator, TV, blender, fans…  It seems that he, his wife and their seven-month son are being sheltered at the house of a relative – who could ask them to leave at any moment.

The guy has a family history of arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus (he’s black, which is a point against him in relation to diabetes) and arthritis.  On top of all that, he and his wife both love greasy food and all kinds of sauces.  What this indicates is that at some moment his body will need medicine that will help filter his liver and kidneys.

Looking to get validation for his idea, he met with all types of people — those in favor and those against, professionals and non-professionals, partners and friends — only to find many of them asking the same question: “Are you crazy, compadre?”

I truly believe that you have to be in the other person’s skin to judge their decisions, but with this one “the screw’s stripped and it just ain’t taking,” as we say.   The fact that the body possesses some double organs and parts doesn’t indicate an absence of their need, just the opposite.

Independently of the real impossibility of taking such a crazy risk in this country, I question the analysis that someone could have made to put themselves in a dilemma of this type.  A crisis could double back on him by his own doing.