“Internet Organ Donor Disputes Polygraph Test”

This Associated Press article published by the Denver Post is cited here in full:

Chattanooga, Tenn. – A televised polygraph test has indicated that a kidney donor did not answer truthfully when he denied receiving more money than the law allows from his Internet-arranged organ donation to a stranger from Colorado.

Rob Smitty, a 32-year-old meat salesman, said he wants another test after the broadcast on the PAX program “Lie Detector” Tuesday night.

Last October, Smitty donated a kidney to Bob Hickey of Edwards, Colo., in a procedure in a Denver hospital. They met on an Internet site dedicated to matching recipients with willing donors.

Eight days after the surgery, Smitty surrendered on a warrant for failure to pay delinquent child support. Questions were raised about whether the donation was in fact a sale, but Smitty said Hickey paid him only $3,050 for expenses and lost work time.

Federal law prohibits profiting from the sale of body parts for transplant. It does not prohibit soliciting a donation.

The polygraph test was taped in November in Los Angeles.

Mark Phillips, executive producer of the television show, said he stands by the results.

“He’s generally a nice, sweet fellow,” Phillips said of Smitty. “I just think he is in over his head.” Smitty said he has a book deal but has no publication date and has received no money yet.

Hickey, who had needed a transplant since 1999 due to kidney disease, met Smitty through MatchingDonors.com. Hickey paid the Web site $295 a month for three months to seek a donor.

Hickey avoided a waiting list maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing, a nonprofit group with a government contract to allocate organs from the dead.

For discussion of PAX TV’s “Lie Detector” show, featuring the bogus “Dr.” Ed Gelb (he obtained his “Ph.D.” from an unaccredited diploma mill that was shut down by the federal government), see the AntiPolygraph.org message board thread, “Lie Detector” TV Show w/Rolonda Watts & Ed Gelb. Another of the show’s guests, whose appearance has not yet been aired, has posted his experience here.

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