On February 20th, just last week, I donated my left kidney to a stranger. Because of my donation, two other people agreed to donate their kidneys as well, resulting in three simultaneous life-saving transplants. More transplants may still happen in the future as part of the “kidney chain” that I initiated. As a philosopher with an academic interest in effective altruism, this was partly motivated by that worldview, though I certainly don’t want to portray myself as some philosophical Vulcan whose actions follow wherever the logic leads; it’s fair to say I had a variety of motives. In what follows, I want to share some details of what led me to donate my kidney to a stranger, and describe what the experience has been like. Donating has been moving and wonderful, and much less difficult than you might think.
I want you to understand that I don’t identify as some extreme altruist. I don’t give away 30% of my wealth each year, or volunteer weekly at a homeless shelter, though I admire those who do. But I am a philosopher who teaches bioethics on a regular basis, and one topic that I regularly cover in class is the issue of organ scarcity.
— Read on dailynous.com/2019/03/01/life-saving-philosophy-professor-guest-post-arthur-ward/