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Jacksonville mom offered to sell kidney on Craigslist

3:07 PM, Mar 13, 2014   |    comments
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Kidney for sale on Craigslist in Jacksonville posted March 11, 2014.

 


 


(WTLV) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thursday is World Kidney Day at Flagler Hospital, but this is something you don't see everyday.

A Jacksonville mother said she posted an ad on Craigslist offering to sell her kidney for $10,000.

"I'm willing to sell my kidney for $10,000," Jill Harris said.

Harris claims she posted the ad on Tuesday night.

"I'm at the wits-end, basically. I'm willing to do anything and this was one of the choices I made," she said.

The mother said she lost her job as a mortgage broker in 2006. She is taking care of her son who is almost 8 and money is tight.

"I can't get a job," she said.

In desperation, Harris researched "selling body parts" and made a decision.

"I've thought of all of the ins and outs. The pros and cons," she said "I just got to the point where I don't know what else to do. I'm at that point."

"I think it's outrageous," Patrick Meherg, of Jacksonville said. "You can't sell human parts for money."

After reading the Craigslist posting, Jocelyn Francois of Jacksonville, said. "I think she's wrong. There's a lot of things you can do."

Harris said she chose the $10,000 amount based on other online organ sale listings.

"The amount was based on what was online," she said. "The way I'm looking at it is if I was to be a surrogate for somebody. There's medical costs and stuff like that. That would be part of the $10,000. "

Harris said the money would be used for rent and electric bills.

Amy Reese is the Public Education Coordinator for LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services. LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services is the federally-designated organ donor program that serves a 36-county region of North Florida.

"Organ donation is truly one of the greatest acts of human donation and it is a donation," Reese said.

More than 4,000 people in Florida are awaiting a kidney. More than 800 of those are along the First Coast. Reese said we can survive with one kidney.

"Most all of us have two healthy kidneys. We only need one," she said.

Reese said she hopes this opens the door for organ donor education on the need for organ donation.

"Signing up to be an organ donor can take 2 minutes at donatelifeflorida.org."

James Sullivan of Jacksonville said he received a kidney from his mother in 2004. FCN asked Sullivan what he thought about someone offering to sell a kidney.

"Shock," he said. "Maybe a little pity."

FCN told Harris it is illegal to sell human organs and tissues in the United States.

"It is a violation of federal law to sell organs on the black market and the FBI has been involved in investigations that have led to prosecutions in the past," according to Jon Fletcher with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Harris said she was not aware of that.

"No, I didn't know that. That's terrible. I hope I don't get in any trouble or anything like that," Harris said.

Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the United States. Violators are punishable by prison sentences and fines.

"I don't want to put myself in jeopardy of breaking a law of any kind," Harris said.

Harris deleted the posting.

To learn more about organ donation, visit these sites:

http://www.organdonor.gov/index.html

http://www.donatelifeflorida.org/

http://www.lifequestfla.org/

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