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Parts for Sale -- Writer's Poke #331

When I woke up, I discovered I was in my bathtub, but instead of with warm water, it was filled with ice. How long had I been asleep, and who had filled my bathtub with ice? As I stood up, I noticed that some of the ice was red, and that’s when I felt the sharp pain in my back.

I stumbled over to the bathroom mirror, and as I turned to examine my back, what I saw reminded me of my stupidity and greed. College had left me saddled with thousands of dollars in student loans. I would be paying off my four years of non-stop partying for the next 30 years.

So, yes, I was desperate. The girl I planned to marry told me that she didn’t want to start our lives together in debt. Basically, she told me that she loved me, but she didn’t love me enough to marry me – not until I had my financial situation fixed to her satisfaction.

It didn’t take me long to find John. He called himself a “problem solver,” and he told me that I had my own personal savings account. At first I had no idea what he was talking about, because I had never saved a dime in my life, and then he spelled it out for me. “You’re a perfectly healthy young man,” he said, “And guess what? You have two kidneys, but one is redundant! You only need one.” He promised me $15,000, and like I fool, I said yes.

As I stared at the jagged line of stitches that ran along the left side of my lower back, I noticed the check on the bathroom countertop. Assuming the check cleared, John had come through for me -- $15,000 – the price of a new life.

If selling your own body parts were legal, how much money would it take to tempt you to sell a kidney? Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe a person should have a right to sell a body part? To eliminate the need for body parts, would you support mandatory donation of body parts upon death?

“The human body is the only machine for which there are no spare parts.” – Hermann M. Biggs


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