July 6, 2022

Member of “kidney cult” battles to donate

Toronto hospital declines offer of kidney from man in “Jesus Christians” group


A tiny religious group based in Australia has been advising its
members to donate their kidneys to strangers, reports the Wall Street
Journal
. Founded by an American, David McKay, in 1982, the Jesus
Christians describe themselves as "a live-by-faith,
work-for-God-not-money Christian community". Its members
distribute Bible-based comics and other tracts, including a novel by
Mr McKay on the end times, and do voluntary work. One of their
charitable assignments is donating kidneys; "[we] are prepared
to do outrageous things to express our love for God and others,"
says McKay. Because about two-thirds of the group’s 30 members have
donated kidneys, it has been dubbed "the kidney cult" by
the media.

The WSJ narrates an attempt by a Sydney man, Ashwyn Falkingham, to
donate a kidney to a woman, Sandi Sabloff, in Toronto. Under
pressure from Falkingham’s parents, Toronto General Hospital
eventually refused, saying that his motivation was not altruism, but
a desire for publicity. Falkingham and Sabloff are now looking for a
hospital in the US which will do the transplant. Hospitals are
normally wary of organ donations from strangers, as altruism has
often been a cover for secret compensation. Anonymous donors can also
be psychologically disturbed or unrealistic or they can back out at
the last minute. ~ WSJ, Dec 13; ABC (Australia), Jun 4