Tight on cash? Learn how people are making money … with their body parts! From blood and urine to eggs and breast milk, The Doctors reveal how certain individuals are making a profit off their own anatomy.
• Which celebrity insured her legs for more than $2 million? Find out.
Anatomy for Sale!
Hear how people are making a living with their bodies.
Donating Your Organs
The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 outlawed the sale of human organs, so while you can’t pay or get paid for kidneys, hearts, lungs or livers, you can donate them.
“One organ donor can save up to eight lives,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says.
The need for organs is high, as 19 people die each day waiting for an organ. Organ transplants are only permitted when the donor is diseased; however, living donors are permitted to donate paired organs such as a kidney or a lung, when the donor can survive with just one. Living donors can also donate fluids and tissues that will regenerate, such as blood, bone marrow and parts of livers. All other donations are from cadavers.
“In medical school we used cadavers to learn anatomy, to learn how to become doctors,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “You can’t put a dollar amount on that.”
Though organs are donated for free, the cost adds up for transplant costs. Approximately 21,000 heart transplants take place every year, and there are currently 3,500 people on the waiting list with a seven-month wait for whole hearts. After the costs for evaluations, procurement, hospital fees, physician fees, follow-ups and immune-suppressing drugs are added up, the price on a donated heart equals $391,800.
If you’d like to be an organ donor, do your research and sign up at your state’s donor registry.
All about Egg Donation
Ladies: You can make up to $10,000 selling your own eggs! Sound too good to be true? OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains the risks and benefits.
“This is a wonderful thing a woman can do for a couple who has infertility issues. The [couple] will still have the DNA of the male partner and the woman will still get to carry the baby.”
America is one of the few countries that pays egg donors, but there are guidelines for how much the donors should be paid. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine says while there is no set consensus on payment, amounts of $5,000 or more require justification and amounts more than $10,000 exceed what is considered appropriate.
Egg donation is a rigorous process that is not as simple as handing over your eggs for cash. It’s a full-time job to make sure the woman’s eggs are healthy enough to harvest, which involves blood work, ultrasounds and psychological evaluations, as well as medications – both oral and intravenous. When the eggs are ready to be harvested, the woman is put under light anesthesia.
Ashlee, 33, says she’s donated her eggs seven times and is very familiar with the process; however, she’s concerned that after so many donations, her fertility might be compromised. While she has an 11-year-old son of her own, she’d like the option of having another child.
“Have I ruined my chances for having a baby in the future?” Ashlee asks.
Fertility specialist Dr. John Jain performs a fertility checkup on Ashlee to determine her current egg count. Hear her results.
The “Yellow Market”
Selling human urine is illegal in the United States; however, urine is being sold on the internet to substance users looking to pass drug tests, in a phenomenon some are calling the "yellow market.”
“There are so many opportunities now to buy urine, and people create false urine kits,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis says.
Dr. Travis demonstrates a synthetic urine kit found online for $150 that includes a heater to keep the urine at 98 degrees – human body temperature.
A viewer using the pseudonym “James” calls in to share his experience using synthetic urine to land a job on Wall Street.
“I ordered it online; it’s extremely simple,” “James” says. “I just put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds, and I was able to just put it inside my underwear, walk into the bathroom with the cup and pour it in.”
• From pee pee perfume to salt made from human tears, find out some of the real and bogus products being sold online!
For more information about the products mentioned on this show, please go to Related Resources
Sign Up for the Newsletter| Show Page |Talk about the Show | Join The Doctors Social Network
Allergies | Anti-Aging | Cosmetic Surgery | Fitness & Weight Loss
Parenting | Pregnancy | Recipes | Safety | Sex