Last night’s episode of House M.D. – some guy dying of some mysterious disease, we get it.
His kidney’s fail (this happens quite regularly on House MD, or at least the ‘threat’ of total kidney failure). Well crud, we have to find the guy a working kidney ASAP so we can keep him alive long enought to find out what’s wrong with him!
So what do these brilliant doctors do? Ask his 13/14 year old daughter to pony up an organ.
The show treats the situation as if it’s as simple as the parent/guardian signing the release form and the minor child can be wheeled into into surgery and relieved of her left kidney. Considering it’s the parent that needs the kidney, don’t you think that’s a conflict of interest???
First off, a potential donor is put through GOBS of tests before they are ‘cleared’ for surgery. No way and no how can the process be expedited that quickly.
Secondly, and more importantly, a minor CANNOT donate an organ. Under no circumstances. For no reason whatsoever.
Do I make myself clear? A living donor must, Must, MUST be at least 21 years old. No expections.
As a friend of mine pointed out, these shows are called ‘fiction’. However, there is suspension of disbelief for entertainment’s sake and then there is disinformation with the potential to be harmful and dangerous. Perpetrating the idea that a 13/14 year old can be a living donor (and under the stressful, immediate circumstances of her father, her only living parent, dying) falls under the latter category.