Kidney-nappers?

RECENTLY, WE’VE HEARD NEW versions of one of the most durable urban legends-the case of the kidnapped kidney. You know, that weird thing that happened to a friend of your friend’s cousin’s boss out in Seattle one night after a cocktail party.

Sci-fi strange-but possible? According to Steve Haid, executive director of the Southwest Organ Bank in Dallas, absolutely not. First, taking out a kidney is not like changing a lightbulb. Such a caper would cost millions of dollars to find and bribe a team of highly paid specialists willing to break the law, risk their careers, and keep mum forever, Second, freelance organ peddlers would run into a blunt fact: Hospitals don’t want just any old kidney.

“If some one just walked in carrying an organ, you’d know nothing about it, or the donor, of even if it could be used,” says Haid. “When an organ is made available, believe me, the donor has been thoroughly screened, the family consulted, and medical tests have already been made.”

So much for that urban legend. We’re still working on the Choking Doberman.

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