The Kidney Sellers

A Journey of Discovery in Iran

by Sigrid Fry-Revere

Tags: Culture and Law, Current Affairs, Health Law, Health/Health Law, Medical Anthropology, Sociology

Table of Contents (PDF)

254 pp  $35.00

ISBN 978-1-61163-512-6
eISBN 978-1-5310-0116-2

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Topic of a 2014 TEDMED talk.

Rarely does an adventure story carry such social significance as in this groundbreaking ethnographic research book. Dr. Fry-Revere's exploration of the medical ethics of compensating organ donors takes us deep inside Iranian culture to provide insight and understanding into how Iran has solved its kidney shortage. The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran addresses the question: How it is possible that in Iran there is a waiting list to be a donor, while in the United States hundreds of thousands of people have died­ for lack of a kidney?

Dr. Fry-Revere is the first Westerner ever to witness firsthand Iran's organ procurement system. She shares what she discovered in this fascinating book: part diary of living in a dangerous country, part ethnographic essay, and part tale of people working together to overcome death and financial ruin. The Kidney Sellers is a shocking, thought-provoking true story.

Early Praise:

"A compelling case for an unorthodox solution to a wide-spread healthcare problem." — Kirkus Reviews

"In The Kidney Sellers, Fry-Revere shows considerable strengths as a nonfiction writer. She is a keen observer of details in surroundings, events, and people. The reader is caught up in her personal drama of anxieties, impressions, and reactions to events. The history, culture, and current political climate of Iran is interspersed liberally throughout the book so that the reader can better understand why Iranians are motivated to act as they do and why the current kidney donor system was enacted." — New York Journal of Books

"Sigrid's journey...reads like a novel blended with a captivating news article that you quite literally cannot put down … I give the book a very strong five stars." — Marisa Slusarcyk, Rogue Reviews

"Sigrid Fry-Revere has given us an amazing, courageous, provocative, even dangerous look at the complex and generally successful system of selling/donation that has solved the kidney supply problem in Iran. Eloquently, humorously written, it is one of my best reads in years. The book will be fascinating to anyone who loves a good travel adventure story, but essential for anyone interested in overcoming the organ transplant problem that costs thousands of lives each year."
Robert Veatch, Ph.D., Professor of Medical Ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and Fellow of the Hastings Center (In 1983 Dr. Veatch testified before Congress in favor of outlawing kidney sales.)

"The Kidney Sellers is exciting, well written, and insightful. This book is going to revolutionize the way we think about living kidney donation."
Harvey Mysel, Founder, Living Kidney Donors Network

"The Kidney Sellers offers an invaluable and hopeful contribution to a long-standing controversy. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to take improving donation rates seriously."
Jim Gleason, UNOS board member, TRIO (Transplant Recipients International Organization) president

"It's not often you pick up a book that doesn't have a detective, a vampire or pretty young things as its 'heroes' and yet compels you to read it cover to cover in one sitting. There are a large number of human interest stories that reveal themselves in light of the interviews that Sigrid conducts, which are both staggering and heart warming at the same time. Sigrid's Iranian adventure has this very subtle undercurrent of humour element to it, especially in the beginning when she's acclimatizing to the foreign environment, which is very original and helps in establishing this instant connection to the author's pursuits ... Highly recommended." — The Midwest Book Review

Author Bio:

Sigrid Fry-Revere, J.D., Ph.D., is the founder and president of the Center for Ethical Solutions, a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to educating the public on issues in patient care ethics. Sigrid is also the medical ethics consultant to the Washington D.C. Regional Transplant Community's Organ and Tissue Advisory Committee. She has taught bioethics and law at the University of Virginia and George Mason University; been a consultant to hospitals, hospices, and home health agencies; and practiced health and FDA law. Sigrid's more than a hundred articles have appeared in newspapers, journals, and trade publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, and Pediatric Nursing. She is the author of one book (The Accountability of Bioethics Committees and Consultants) and has edited another (Ethics & Answers in Home Health Care). Sigrid holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and a law degree, both from Georgetown University. This is her first non-fiction adventure book. She lives with her husband Bob Corn-Revere on a farm in Northern Virginia where they raised their four children.