News & Events

The Evolution of an Upper School Exploration

The Gregory School

The Exploration Course will take place this Friday, Sept 23rd, from 8:50 – 10:30              

The Exploration Course will take place this Friday, September 23rd, from 8:50 – 10:30 am in the Donald R. Nickerson Performing Arts Center.  Parents are welcome to attend.

Mr. Dan Young’s Econ students read an op-ed piece, in the Wall Street Journal, by Gary Becker and Julio J. Elias titled “Cash for Kidneys: The Case for a Market for Organs.”  The article advocates for a market in human kidneys to remedy the 90,000-100,000 person waiting list for transplants.  As Mr. Young puts it, “Economists love to solve allocation issues, right?”  After reading it and finding the students largely in favor of the idea, he thought we could use a countervailing opinion to balance the conversation. That was when he invited Dr. David Beyda, Chair, and Professor of the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism, to visit his class as a guest speaker.

Then, the whole thing grew...

Soon, invitations to take part in the forum were extended to a transplant surgeon, kidney donors and recipients, and the Donor Network of Arizona.  Mr. Young had the flexibility to create this special class as an Exploration Course and has opened it to all upper school students. Additionally (and in the spirit of true collaboration), an invitation to an Econ class at Desert Christian was made and accepted. This event no longer fit into a classroom.

The following panel will assemble to discuss the following statement:

"Congress should amend the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 to allow for the purchase and sale of human kidneys."

The panelists are:

Dr. Beyda is the Chair and Professor of the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism at the University of Arizona. He is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and also directs the Global Health program.

He is the founder and Medical Director of Medical Mercy, the medical arm of One Child Matters, traveling 6-8 times a year to care for children in more than 20 countries.  Since 2004, he has made more than 55 medical trips to third world countries serving underprivileged children.

He is a bush pilot / physician who takes his medical teams to isolated areas of Africa and Cambodia.  Beyda has also been the recipient of numerous honors and awards. He received the Humanitarian Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics and most recently received the Humanitarian Award from the Arizona Medical Association.  And, perhaps most notable for today's purposes, he's a member of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH)

Dr. Robert C. Harland, MD, FACS, is a Professor of Surgery, Vice Chair of Academic Affairs and Surgical Director of Solid Organ Transplantation with the University of Arizona Department of Surgery and Banner University Medical Center-Tucson.

Dr. Harland is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the International Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association and the International Xenotransplant Society.  He is a member of the Leadership and Innovation Council of the Alliance for Organ Donation and Transplantation.

Dr. Harland has more than 20 years of experience in the management of complex patients with end-stage organ failure. In addition to kidney, pancreas and liver transplantation, his expertise encompasses advanced laparoscopic surgery, including donor nephrectomy, hepatobiliary (liver and gallbladder) surgery and dialysis access surgery in patients with kidney disease.  He also has extensive experience with multi-organ transplantation, and with the management of patients who require repeat transplantation.

Mr. Michael Jette has his BS from the University of Oregon, his J.D. from Lewis and Clark, and his MBA from Thunderbird School in Global Management.  He's spent the past ten years serving as a prosecutor at the county, state, and federal levels.  In 1991 Mr. Jette donated one of his kidneys to his twin brother, Matt, after years of kidney related illness.  Shortly thereafter, the two brothers formed a non-profit organization called Donors for Life with the purpose of offering financial incentives for living donors to help offset the out-of-pocket costs associated with kidney donation.  Ultimately, the brothers decided to shut down the non-profit when it was determined that its goals were contrary to the language in Title III of the National Organ Transplant Act which prohibits the transplanting of organ tissue for "valuable consideration."



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