Wednesday, June 6

Kidney Donation Denied For Cult Member

A 22 year-old Australian man was denied his request to donate a kidney while in Canada last weekend after concerns were raised that the donation may be a rite of passage to gain membership into a religious cult.

Danielle Godard at AHN News Writer in Toronto wrote this:

Reports claim Falkingham's parents pleaded with the hospital to send their son away, claiming he had been brainwashed by a religious group called Jesus Christians, and the hospital agreed to postpone the operation.

Jesus Christians claim donating a kidney to a stranger is the very ultimate test of a person's faith in God.

The intended recipient, Canadian Sandi Sabloff, said on the ABC program that she found Falkingham through a website called Living Donors Online, where they exchanged correspondence for several months before meeting in Toronto.

Yep... if you are going to tell your donors that you think they are in a cult... by rule I think you need to refuse the donation.

Isn't the kidney of a cult member just as good as the kidney from you or me?


organ donors rule said...

This is especially timely given the uproar over the stunt on Dutch TV about a fake reality show where they would give away a kidney.

"There was plenty of outrage last week when a Dutch television network said that it would broadcast a "reality" show featuring three patients competing for a kidney to be donated by a terminally ill woman. Viewers were to send text messages to help the woman, identified only as Lisa, make her choice.

The program was called "De Grote Donorshow," or "The Big Donor Show," with the "o" in "show" shaped like a kidney.

Government and health officials in the Netherlands tried to find a way to stop the show, or at least the subsequent transplant. Disgusting, people around the world said: A tasteless stunt.

Toward the end of the broadcast Friday night, it was disclosed that the show was indeed a stunt. While the contestants really did need kidneys, "Lisa" was not terminally ill. She was an actress with no plans to donate one, and the contestants knew it. But by then the show had accomplished its mission: to raise consciousness about the desperate shortage of organ donors.

The whole episode pointed up a certain fuzziness about the donor debate. What, exactly, was so off-putting about the show? Was it that the premise was unethical, or just tasteless? That a terminally ill woman would choose a stranger to receive her kidney, or that she would make her choice on TV? That somehow one person - the more attractive? the more charming? - would be deemed to be more deserving to live?"

Anonymous said...

Yup...and if ya wanna give a kidney, walk on in to the hospital and do it...but YOU don't get to choose who gets it. That's why we have a waiting list and a system in place. Them that needs it worst, gets it first...

But since I have a better website/bigger family/cuter face...I get it first? Not how it works.

Alf and Martin said...

I think it is outrageous, and a sad indictment on the way the world is heading, that as soon as someone shouts 'cult' an obviously noble and altruistic act, gets axed.

I know Ash personally and the time, effort, and degree of thought he put in to stepping in as a donor, was just a small sample of his Christian commitment.

Donating a spare kidney is what I would hope anyone would do for me, if I was dying of kidney disease. It's as simple as applying the Golden Rule, of loving our neighbour as we would have them love us.

The only reason Ash was not allowed to donate was because the hospital feared for their reputation, not because they really cared about his intended recipient.

We need to be encouraging one another to be doing more good, not less. But then, I guess it's easier for most people to believe the worst about a person and their motivations, because they think it will excuse them from doing likewise.

I hope there are others out there who have spent the time really considering these issues to the point they too feel inspired to step off the middle ground.

Evil only prospers in the world, when good people do nothing.

Alf said...

I don't know if my last post was enabled, so I'll write something else.

I think it is a sad indictment on society, and a clear reflection of where things are heading, when an obviously noble and altruistic act gets axed as soon as anyone shouts the world 'cult'. The word cult can be used to describe just about anything we disagree with (including the army). However, it seems these days that as soon as anyone uses it, people react in fear (as the Toronto hospital clearly did to stop the donation going ahead), regardless of whether the accusation is true or not.

I have checked out the Christian community Ash is a member of ( and looked into this fiasco at Toronto hospital, and all I can see is that someone's attempt at doing good has been foiled because of people only being concerned by how they would appear, and because of ignorance.

Donating a spare kidney is entirely compatible with being a Christian and applying the Golden Rule. If I was dying of kidney disease, I would sure love it if someone stepped in to donate their spare kidney to me.

And yet, we seem to have all these people only considering things from a warped perspective.

We should be actively encouraging people like Ash to do such noble acts, especially with the degree of vetting hospitals go through ensuring such a decision is well thought-through and uncoerced.

Evil only prospers when good people choose to do nothing. Evil certainly will do more than prosper if people not only do nothing, but actively stop the good that good people do.

Alf said...

This man has passed all the strict tests the hospital has given him. He was deemed mentally and physically fit enough to donate a kidney. There are no medical or physical grounds to deny him the privilege to donate. The only reason was because the hopsital was afraid of it's reputation possibly being tarnished. Shame on the hospital!