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Kidneys

kidney operation More than half the members of the Jesus Christians have donated one of their kidneys to a complete stranger. While this has seemed bizarre to some people, for the Jesus Christians it is generally seen as a natural and practical application of Jesus' command to love our neighbour.

On a commercial airline flight from Los Angeles to Sydney in 2001, Dave saw a film called "A Gift of Love".  It was based on a true story about an American teenage footballer who donated a kidney to his grandmother, sacrificing his football career in order to save her life.  Dave was surprised at how relatively easy it sounded, to have such a deep impact on someone's else's life.  His thoughts on the film sparked much discussion amongst the Jesus Christians on the topic of live kidney donation. Several members were immediately inspired to at least look into the possibility of giving a kidney themselves.

In February 2002, Casey and Robin both simultaneously donated one of their kidneys at a hospital in Minneapolis, through the altruistic donor program there.  They were the first Jesus Christians to undergo the operation. Their positive experiences and quick recoveries inspired even more Jesus Christians to consider doing the same.

Jon RonsonIn 2003 Jon Ronson (pictured left), journalist and writer, finished producing a two part article (Blood Sacrifice) and a video documentary (Kidneys For Jesus) about Jesus Christian kidney donations. Despite earlier claims that the documentary would aim to inspire other people to make kidney donations, it mostly became a film about whether the Jesus Christians were a cult, with subtle implications that its members had been coerced into the operating theatres.

A year later in Australia, The Jesus Christians announced that two of their members had lied to health authorities there about how long they had known their recipients in order to get around the restrictions in place that forbade kidney donations to strangers. As a result of the scandal, Jesus Christians were banned in at least one Australian state from donating their kidneys, but another, New South Wales, changed their policy in favour of altruistic non-directed kidney donations just a few weeks after the news of what the Jesus Christians had done in that state.

CNN in the United States produced a series on live organ donations called "Body Parts" which featured Barry's donation.  The producers saw it as one of the prime reasons why donations should be banned in general, implying that Barry had been coerced into donating. Robert Montgomery, the surgeon who performed Barry's operation, challenged some of the fear tactics used by the media to distort the nature of Jesus Christian kidney donations, and (in this report at least) the nature of live organ donation in general.

ash and sandii donationAustralian Story later produced not one, but two reports on Ashwyn's attempts to donate his kidney to a woman in Canada (both pictured left), and his parents' efforts to stop the operation from going ahead. Ashwyn's parents succeeded in convincing the Canadian hospital to cancel the operation, leaving the recipient in dire need. However, in the second report, viewers see how Ashwyn's determination and that of his recipient later succeeded in the transplant being carried out in Cyprus.

Despite the controversy that some sections of the media have tried to paint, positive reports have still appeared at times.

Over twenty Jesus Christians have now donated one of their kidneys to strangers. Below are links to articles, videos and radio interviews related to live altruistic kidney donations. Decide for yourself whether we really are a "kidney cult" or just a group of Christians who think live kidney donations are one way of showing practical love to those in need.

bible and candle JC Kidney Articles: Read through articles that the Jesus Christians have written about the subject of kidney donation, both from a theological and practical point of view.
Jon Ronson Site Kidneys For Jesus: Links to Jon Ronson's "Kidneys For Jesus" documentary.  His articles, and our comments on what he has written can be found here. Learn the background to some of the controversies raised in those productions.
australian story Australian Story: Follow the saga of Ashwyn's kidney donation to Sandi, and his parents' attempts to stop him. Watch the programs, read the articles and discover for yourself what all the fuss was about.
newspaper JC Kidney Ban In Australia:: When we announced that two members of the Jesus Christians had lied to be able to save the lives of their recipients, reactions came from the media and health authorities in Australia. Was it a good thing or a bad thing? Read the articles, hear the interviews and decide for yourself.
CNN Presents CNN Body Parts: Barry's altruistic non-directed donation, which helped facilitate three other simultaneous donations, was used as one of the prime examples for why live kidney donations should be banned. Hear the differring points of view expressed by the medical bodies involved, and read the articles that resulted from it here.
kidney operation Other Kidney Stories: With over twenty Jesus Christian kidney donations, there have been numerous stories about such actions. Read the responses generated from around the world.

 
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