Monday, May 26, 2008

How to Solve the Organ Shortage for America

Suggested Changes to The Federal Organ Transplant Law

To Provide a Financial Incentive For Those Who Have Decided to Make
Their Organs Available for the Benefit of Mankind


The Federal Organ Transplant law needs to be changed.

The Federal Organ Transplant Law enacted in 1984 provides that only donated organs may be used. The following plan to increase the supply of organs for transplant was developed in subsequent years by David F. Diamond of Memphis, Tennessee.
The shortage of organs is taking the lives of almost 7,000 people unnecessarily each year. Donation is good. It is the highest altruistic step that a person can contemplate. However, for a number of reasons, many people are not willing to donate. The solution is to provide a regulated system allowing the organs of cadavers to be sold as follows:

A. A contract can provide that when a person has decided, for whatever reasons, not to donate organs, he or she (hereafter: the provider) can commit to a plan to have the organs sold if and when the provider is brain dead. This contract will also be signed by the next of kin, spouse or nearest living relative so that that party understands the purpose of the contract and agrees that they will not oppose its implementation when the provider dies. A provider's option to cancel the contract at any time prior to the provider's death will be included in the contract. The use of this contract will allow the provider to leave an estate to his heirs or a designated charity. A provider, with few or no assets, might otherwise have none to leave when he or she passed.

B. The sale of organs can be conducted by a broker, attorney or individual (hereafter: an agent) designated by the provider. A licensing procedure would establish that the agent would be certified as fiscally responsible and having financial integrity. Upon determination of brain death, the agent selected by the provider, using email, fax or phones, would immediately advise interested buyers of an organ's availability and condition, etc. Time would be of the essence, of course. Appropriate compensation to the agent, such as a commission for services provided, would be set forth in the contract. Buyers whose bids were accepted would send payment by wire transfer, cashier's check or other means approved in the law.

C. The party designated by the provider must maintain a public record (like a broadcaster's log which is available for public viewing) specifying the individual who gets the organs, how much is being paid and the identification of the provider. The purpose of this transparency is to eliminate the need for a black market, and to stimulate public awareness. If there is a public record, as soon as organ sales begin, the news media will undoubtedly write about it pointing out how much money was involved in the transactions and stressing how much money goes to the heirs. This will persuade a lot of additional people to agree to such a contract, thus increasing supply exponentially. Through the action of the law of supply and demand, the increased supply will cause prices to decrease to a level most people will consider reasonable. Unless you allow prices to be set by the market process you put a limit on the number of organs that might become available. Any fixed price, set by government or a special agency, would diminish the supply which would defeat the goal of making the most organs available. That would cause some individuals to decide not to participate. But if they knew that the organs they might provide are going to bring whatever the market process allows, they’ll have every incentive to take part.

D. The organs would have to be sold only for transplant to U. S. citizens in order to avoid foreigners from bidding up the price and reducing the supply to Americans. Of course, if other countries should adopt model legislation such as ours then we could reciprocate and become partners with them since their organ supply could be shared with ours.

E. The poor will not be discriminated against. They will have access to organs because the law will provide that, just as in Medicare or Medicaid presently, the government will pay for any medical procedure or supplies that the patient needs, upon a doctor’s certification that it is medically necessary. The government would buy organs on the market for those with Medicare or Medicaid unless donated organs were available. The same principle will apply for those with health insurance. And the wealthy, who may choose to be self insured, would be free to arrange for organs in the same market. Of course, people would still be free to donate organs. And participation by providers in the futures contracts would be entirely voluntary.

F. Presently those uninsured or poor, not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, have to raise tens of thousands of dollars before hospitals or transplant surgeons will help them. The added cost of an organ can also be raised in the same way, or the law can require our government to cover that cost, since it will be less costly over time than dealing with whatever the patient's medical expenses would be otherwise.

G. The plan will require providers to have their medical records maintained by their doctors beginning at least as soon as a futures contract is signed. It would be made available immediately to any parties potentially buying an organ from that cadaver. The purpose, and the result, would be to assure a better, safer organ supply. This plan does not contemplate any sale of kidneys or parts of livers from a living person. There are risks in having such surgery and for that reason and others, we set that aside and take no position on that question. Sometimes, under current law, it is the right thing to do, depending on the circumstances. But in point of fact, the need for such organs will be adequately supplied with adoption of my plan.


The proposal I’m offering will be, of course, subject to improvement and modification by the federal legislature. Meanwhile, I welcome and will entertain seriously any changes so long as they do no damage to this essential requirement: We have to let the law of supply and demand work in order to maximize the number of organs that will be made available.

I am currently directing my efforts at Congress and the remaining presidential candidates. Your help is needed. Your contributions can help focus public attention on this issue and solve a serious problem in our society. I am trying to establish a 501 (c) 3 organization, which will permit you to donate funds to this effort and deduct any contribution from your taxes. Please help financially if you can:

Here’s my donation $_________________

My name and address: __________________________________________________________________

Please make checks payable to
“Organ Procurement Rights Association”

Mail to:
777 Mt. Moriah Rd., #46,
Memphis TN, 38117-5328

If you have questions, call me at 901 761-5580

Organ Plan, Revised as of 5-30-08

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A new way to legislate

Citizens have begun to write to me with their ideas for improving government. So I've decided to post their offerings on my campaign website. I said to myself "Maybe we don't need any more top-down solutions to the nation's problems. We should start from the bottom -- with the people. Let them craft the solution. Just as Wikipedia lets people correct and improve and enhance the details of any topic, the people will be able to do likewise, through my website on the internet. It would be like a congressional committee-of-the-whole, working out the fine points of a bill. Any input by paid lobbyists would have to be footnoted as such. We would pass on the finished material to congress to save it a lot of time and effort and provide the kind of clarification and guidance the nation's legislators need to develop really good laws."
The first detailed idea has come from campaign volunteer Landon Carpenter. He's an electronics engineer who tells me he's considering writing an opinion column called The Village Idiot Speaks. He offered me a sample: a WPA (Works Project Administration or CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) kind of solution to using the oil supply in Alaska, and ending our dependence on foreign oil. Here’s his plan:
The Village Idiot Speaks

Most of us are too young to remember The New Deal. For those of you who can’t remember, it was the arrangement that gave us Social Security and the CCC and WPA.

It’s time for The New Deal Part II.

What the heck am I talking about?

Basically, the government is in a position to eliminate high gas prices and provide jobs and training for everyone that wants it. How, you might ask?

1. Sink a few wells in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge)
2. Man them with conscripts or paid volunteers similar to the military
3. Provide living quarters, medical, and partial pay to workers while active
4. Build the required pipelines, refineries, and infrastructure with these personnel
5. Maintain ownership of all infrastructure and oil/gas supplies by the government
6. Sell the Fuel/oil to the public at market prices
7. Re-invest the profits into the system with a substantial part of the profit used
to pay down public debts
8. Do not involve private industries in the process
9. Hire a czar to oversee the entire process with the interest of the public as his only
10. Use only conscripts/volunteers to carry out the entire process including transport and security

Notice: I said give the workers partial payment. These workers would live in government housing, eat government food, get free medical care, and be given 25% of their pay while active. When their term of service is over, give them the remaining 75% of their pay which would be held in interest bearing escrow accounts until departure.

Once the fuel supply is up and running, a 50 cent per gallon tax would be imposed on all middle eastern gas supplies.

Tax breaks of 2-1 on cost would be given for green alternatives such as large solar panel fields in the high dessert and large expanses of unused land like the southwest.

Special Small Vehicle Laws should be passed for micro vehicles to be used in cities and prohibiting their use on expressways. If you must commute by yourself, do it with a smaller carbon footprint.

Small vehicles could be designed to travel under 60 MPH and take less steel while providing affordable energy conserving technologies.

It would take a few years to catch up. But, when this happens, we could tell the Middle East goodbye.

This should bring down gas prices, employ everyone that wants a job, and quit paying good American money to Arabs that might be planning to fund terrorists.

That’s all for now.

The village idiot has spoken.
Diamond comments:
I am not going to pretend that I have the answers to all of the big questions facing our society today.
But I am inviting more people to participate in this interactive form of developing legislation where citizens can use my campaign website to make a proposal and other citizens can comment on ways to improve the idea. Of course, after I’m elected these will be provided to Congress for its consideration. I may offer personal comments on an idea but that doesn’t necessarily mean I will support it. I’ll review each one carefully and look forward to receiving more of them as the days and weeks go by. I think it could generate big results: grassroots legislative solutions to our country's problems.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Go to campaign website

For the original Presidential campaign website -- with details of "How I Will Win the GOP Nomination" and "How to Solve the Shortage of Organs for Transplant" -- go to: