>BY: Dhany Osman
Celebrity liver transplant survivor Andrea De Cruz is all for organ trading, as is her husband, actor Pierre Png, who donated a part of his liver to her in 2002.
"I believe Singapore is small enough to regulate organ trading," Ms De Cruz, 34, told The Sunday Times.
"If there are people willing to do it, why not? If the hospitals, doctors and recipients benefit from the transplant procedures, I don't see why the donors shouldn't benefit as well."
Mr Png, 35, agreed, saying: "I'm all for human organ trading. With stringent checks and guidelines, I think we can do something about the current situation and try to save more people."
The couple said they had been reading stories about the kidney-for-sale case with interest. On how patients turn to possibly illegal means to obtain an organ, Mr Png said: "People are like that if you don't give them an alternative or some other avenue out of their situation. People will find ways and means to survive."
In 2002, Ms De Cruz became the first person in Singapore to receive an organ transplant from an unrelated living donor. Mr Png was her boyfriend at the time.
She fell seriously ill after taking the China-made slimming pills Slim 10 and later won $1.63 million from a lawsuit against the drug's distributors.
Under the current guidelines of the Human Organ Transplant Act (Hota), live organ transplant donors must prove that there has been no emotional or financial coercion involved in their decision to donate, whether or not they are related.
Life has long since returned to normal for the couple. He is currently filming a new TV series with MediaCorp while she is running Cinq, a hair spa and salon in Telok Ayer Street. She has a branch in Vietnam.
Looking healthy, she said she watches her diet carefully and tries to run about 4.2km two to three times a week. She also attends body combat classes.
"It gets tiring as my energy level isn't what it used to be," she said of her current pace of life.
"Taking medication every day has become ordinary...The only thing I'm fearful about is becoming immune to the anti-rejection drugs I'm on and the possibility of renal failure."
This article was first published in The Sunday Times on July 6, 2008.