Can you find a kidney through a Craigslist personal ad?

Patients are circumventing the traditional waiting time to find an organ donor by using Craigslist.

In some cases, years have been cut off the waiting times. But are hospitals prepared for the legal and ethical questions that accompany such a non-traditional means of organ donation?

Few medical institutions even consider such cases, with only 10 percent of transplant centers willing to do cases from an altruistic donor unrelated to the patient.

The biggest problem is dealing with the scam artists, eager to profit from the organ shortage. For instance, one offer included “an all-expenses paid relocation to the U.S.,” and other required the family to buy $250,000 worth of paintings in exchange for their kidneys.

Is it worth the risk? For some, the answer is yes, as desperation forces them to “wait for a phone call or an e-mail with news of the miracle that will save a life.”