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culture free market

Queasiness, breast feeding, and kidney transplants

My stepsister posted an update on how her one year old is doing. He is the picture of health, and as large as the average 2 year old. The doctor mentioned that they might want to think about weaning him soon to which Kelly responded that she plans on breast feeding him up to the age of three.

My initial reaction was, “WHAT?! You can’t breast feed a kid for that long, he’ll be screwed up for the rest of his life!” With a little more thought, I’ve come to a more nuanced view. It’s true that from a 37 year old’s perspective, breast feeding at three years old is a little weird. But I have to keep reminding myself that that 3 year old will not have the thoughts of this 37 year old. It’s also true that there is all sorts of evidence that breast feeding is very good for kids. I’m not aware of any studies that show mental issues with prolonged breast feeding. I don’t know about them because I’ve never looked for them. Of course I’ve never looked for studies on breast feeding in general, but I still have heard of the studies about the benefits of breast feeding. And of course Kelly has probably looked into this… She could be wrong, but she’s got a better chance of weighing the pros and cons than I do, so I say, “Whatever you think is best..”

I still feel queazy about breast feeding a three year old, but at the end of the day, it’s not my call, and it’s really none of my business. It reminds me of the issues surrounding the idea of selling kidneys. Most people (including myself) have an instinctual revulsion to the idea, but should that be enough of a reason to allow people to keep dying? The usual arguments are that people shouldn’t benefit from giving a kidney, people will be killed for their kidneys, that poor people will be “taken advantage of,” and of course, ewww!

Right now, everyone involved in a kidney transplant benefits, except the donor. The recipient gets off dialysis and will probably live a normal life, and the doctors and hospital get paid. The donor gets a warm feeling for doing the right thing. Imagine how many more kidneys would be available if people were paid for them?

You can’t just slap any old kidney into a person that needs one, so killing people would have to be very targeted and involve a lot of research for it to work… I don’t see that happening.

As far as the poor being taken advantage of, that is just PC talk for the poor are too stupid to be trusted. Besides, who is being taken advantage of, the person that agrees to give up a kidney for cash or the person that is motivated by emotion and/or guilt? In the end, it reminds me of Kelly’s decision. It’s none of my (or anyone else’s) business if someone wants to sell a kidney, it would certainly save lives. Maybe we should just suck it up and deal, I think the world would be a lot better place if we did.

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