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Show HN - We just built a site that saves lives (watsi.org)
462 points by chaseadam17 1912 days ago | hide | past | web | 183 comments | favorite



The one thing you need to focus on above all else is transparency and preventing scams. Video of the actual person who needs the treatment would go a long way, as would video updates along the way. I'm thinking an Android app that the locals could use to document the process.

If you solve that properly, this will really take off and do a lot of good.

Also, you're going to eventually need to take a very small cut of the donations to pay living expenses for your volunteers. 100% to the patient sounds great, but for my donation, I'd prefer to know that there is someone dedicated full-time to the cause and overseeing the process, and receiving a reasonable salary for it. Of course, be 100% transparent about those salaries as well.


I don't think we need video of the process. If the people want to do it fine, but making them put on a show of themselves I think is a bit much. As a person, not only are you sick and need help from others but you need to be a documentary just to prove to people you aren't a scam, little much -- it's one thing to have a photo and story so it makes it real but as long as there is some trusted third party verification, I think that's enough. There are actually charities that have been doing this sort of thing longer than most of us have been alive that have figured this out, good idea to learn from them.


I really like that you brought up third-party verification. We think that's the most efficient and responsible way to scale our due-diligence process. Currently, in addition to being verified by us, all of our partners have been verified by multiple third parties (Partners in Health, Givewell, CNN, ABC, HBO, etc.) and they are all 501(c)(3) organizations which means that they are also overseen by the US Gov.

I agree that learning from other charities is the best way to evolve. Kiva has a pretty awesome due diligence process that we would like to pick and choose elements from as we grow: http://www.kiva.org/about/risk/kiva-role


> they are all 501(c)(3) organizations which means that they are also overseen by the US Gov.

The US govt does not do significant oversight of 501(c)(3) organizations. They don't care at all about effectiveness.


Like Kiva, it would be good to also list the "sponsor" (read: 501(c)(3) name) on the patient's profile/donation page. If that sponsor name also included a link to a basic sponsor profile page showing further sponsor information, that would be a step in the transparency direction for me. I'm hesitant to donate until I see which charity is sponsoring the person who needs treatment.

EDIT: I dug through the pages and found a link to a Google Spreadsheet doc with basic information regarding the sponsor for each patient. This is one area I would definitely improve into a sponsor link on each patient's donations page. But all-in-all, great stuff!!


Thanks! The Google Doc could definitely use some improvement, but for now it seems to do the job.

Did you get a chance to click on the Medical Partner link on the patient profiles? It opens a lightbox with some info on the partner.

But we'd love to have more robust pages with tons of awesome info (map, financials, photos, data, etc.) for each Medical Partner. We just need to raise the money to pay for the quality dev time we need!


Can you tell me more about the GiveWell verification?


GiveWell selected our first Medical Partner, Nyaya Health, as being in the top 1% of all non-profits with regard to transparency and accountability. http://blog.nyayahealth.org/2011/12/10/nyayahealth1/


The advantage of sharing the individuals' stories is not only for preventing scammers. Connecting with recipients would be hugely motivating for your donor base. DonorsChoose.org is an excellent example of an online charity that built a scalable feedback loop into its donation process (I ran marketing there for a few years). At DonorsChoose.org, donors fund teachers' projects, and then teachers submit pictures online of the project taking place in the classroom. It brings donors back over and over again.


Great points. Transparency is huge, and we have done everything possible to put as much info on our site as we can. We love the app idea, and building an app for the MP's to document the entire process (patient work up, waiver, profile info, provide updates, track recovery, etc.) as easily as possible is one of our next steps.

We definitely need to make some money to keep this thing going. But right now we are still just looking for proof of concept. If we fund these treatments, then our goal is to go out and raise money to really expand the organization. We have tons of financial sustainability ideas, a few are:

1) a "tip" jar where donors can add to their donation to cover overhead 2) Grants and competitions 3) Co-branded CSR programs for companies

Hope that helps to answer your questions!


Your operation could maintain 2 sets of cash flow: one for patient care, and one for administration. Maybe you could qualify for NGO status and get some government to fund some of the administration side.

This would be somewhat similar to Costco's model, where most (all?) of employee wages come from membership card fees, not product revenue. With this model, you could still let people donate 100% of their funds to the patient if they wanted.

You could even make a slider with an animation that displays the percent which goes to each part of your business - so 10% or 15% of the donation could goto administration.

I love your idea, it's tremendous. Good luck!


You could even make a slider with an animation that displays the percent which goes to each part of your business - so 10% or 15% of the donation could goto administration.

This is a great idea. Check the Humble Bundle's (http://www.humblebundle.com/) sliders at the bottom of the page to see how they handle their "Humble Tip", maybe you guys can do something similar.


I also strongly suggest this humblebundle ui on 'Question 2' on the bottom. This would be ideal... HOWEVER, there also is the possibility you end up having not enough for the patients and plenty for the salaries.

Maybe make it 'what is the max percent you want to see spent on admin cost'. that way you are allowed to use as much as you'd like to for the patient.


We love the "max percent" idea. We've never thought about looking at it that way. Thank you!


Awesome! Glad I could help. Keep us posted. Also, do you have a newsletter of some sorts? I'd like to signup.


This is why HN is such an amazing place. So much helpful feedback, all over. Unbiased. Informative.


Wow, that's an incredible UI


If that fails, perhaps you could appeal to Heroku to waive hosting charges for this.

You never know!


Those are awesome suggestions. Thank you! We were actually just approved as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the states, and that will open us up to a lot of funding opportunities. But we love the Costco Model idea!


You're getting the paypal charity rate, right? I thought I saw in your faq that you mentioned 2.9%, but the 501c3 rate is 2.2%: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/donations


I have experience running a website that made running costs + more from donations, let me know if you want to have a chat about what worked and what didn't!


We'd love to pick your brain. Please feel free to reach out to chase (at) watsi (dot) org.


> Also, you're going to eventually need to take a very small cut of the donations to pay living expenses for your volunteers. 100% to the patient sounds great, but for my donation, I'd prefer to know that there is someone dedicated full-time to the cause and overseeing the process, and receiving a reasonable salary for it. Of course, be 100% transparent about those salaries as well.

This might also be accomplished with a "tipping" model. Always advertise the full 100%, but when they go to "checkout", give them the option of tipping the organization. Make a default recommendation of, say, 10%, but let them pick their own tip amount as well.

It would be interesting to see what the average tip amount would be here.


We are definitely considering experimenting with a donation "tip" feature. Based on our research, the average tip on peer-to-peer giving and lending platforms is about 5% of the total donation amount for a first time donation, and virtually nothing for recurring donations (people usually only tip once). It's not enough to run an organization on, but it's a great potential source of revenue to help cover some overhead costs.


Don't discount it. Your numbers are about right, but that can definitely be enough to run an organization. Kiva has about 80 full time staff and about 3/4s of their funding comes from lender tips.


This is great to know. We need to get on that feature ASAP!


>The one thing you need to focus on above all else is transparency and preventing scams.

While I think transparency is important. It's disappointing that this project attracts suspicion, especially in the light of Kickstarter projects for non essential consumables attracting millions with little to no oversight/transparency.

Watsi have done much more than the average Kickstarter campaign to show where the money goes and who's involved: http://watsi.org/faq#really-100-of-my-donation-goes-to-the-c...


Your points are valid however nobody on Kickstarter makes a guarantee of transparency or even fraud-less behavior.

The skepticism or desire for transparency here stems directly from the service they say they provide.

One shouldn't be cynical of holding people to their own standards otherwise the words are meaningless.


> I'm thinking an Android app that the locals could use

I have no data to back me up here but I'm not sure whether people in countries like Ethiopia (just an example 'cause it was on the OPs front page) are rich enough to possess the necessary hardware to run Android apps.


I wouldn't waste time/resources on an Android app this early. Spend your resources validating this concept even more.


Travelling around India, Indonesia, Laos, and so on, I found that even if someone lived in a shack, there was still a good chance they owned a cell phone. Now, that's just anecdotal obviously, and typically not smart phones, but still, it may the number may be higher than you expect.


This service has a tremendous potential to do good and help people in need.

As the previous poster mentioned, I too recommend you guys continue focusing on transparency and preventing scams. You don't want the service to be ruined because of a few bad apples.

IMO, a smartphone/android app would probably not be accessible for many of those living in developing countries. But the general trend I've been hearing about is that a growing number of people living in developing countries are getting access to basic cellular/text service.


Like I said above, transparency and accountability are our two strongest values, and we've spent a very long time making sure our operations are as legit as humanly possible.

Right now we are only working with three partners, all of whom we have a personal relationship with and trust 100%. That said, if/when we expand, we won't have the luxury of only working with people we know and that's going to make the due-diligence process more difficult. But unlike other NGO's (like global giving, kiva, etc.) we don't need a ton of partners to grow. A single partnership with an organization like Doctors Without Borders would ensure we have enough profiles for a lifetime.

However, I love the idea of having the community regulate the Medical Partner via SMS or something like that (sort of like an, "am I driving poorly? call 1-800... for healthcare providers). Great idea!


That's exactly what I wanted to say. Please don't blow this. Your "service" could really make a difference for a lot of these people, and hopefully thousands more when you grow. But only if you keep it transparent and scam-free so people feel safe donating money (or "funding their treatment", as you put it).


We won't blow it. Our entire team has worked abroad (5 former Peace Corps Volunteers, international doctor, etc.) and we put transparency and accountability first. We're extremely anal about reducing risk, and we plan to grow slow to ensure we don't over-extend ourselves.

If there is any information with regard to transparency that you don't see on the site, please let us know and we will add it. Thanks for the support!


I was thinking the %100 made sense. And that they rely only on donations specifically to them. So like I'd pay the 10 bucks to the child with cancer. And separately I'd add a dollar for them. I'd like that. Then we can decide how rich we want to make you.


Haha. We're never going to get rich, but the optional "tip" idea is a great one.


> Also, you're going to eventually need to take a very small cut of the donations to pay living expenses for your volunteers.

Not to mention the 11 staff members they have, who probably are not in this just for the joy of saving adorable little African babies.


We have a pretty awesome team. Everyone is part-time, and we are all 100% volunteer. We know that's not sustainable, and we will need to raise money to scale, but it's pretty rad nonetheless! (And we all make way more at our day jobs than we would ever make working full-time for Watsi).


Just sent an email to you guys.

You probably have a deluge of emails so I'm going to harass you from every vector :)

Hey there, my name is Joe and I want to work for you for free.

In the summer I work in the US as a skydiving instructor. In the (north american) winter I travel around, mostly to third world countries in southeast asia.

I want to volunteer and find people in need of medical care. My girlfriend is Filipino and as a native speaker we could really do some good there, as well as in other countries in the area.

I have many years of experience in the wild, the Mongolian steppe (three months on horseback), the Brazilian jungle (4 months on foot), and all of southeast asia.

I can cover all my own expenses and won't need a dime for travel or in country needs.

Let me work for you.


video, or other content doesn't help prevent scamming. It just pulls a few more heart strings, in the eyes of the viewers (thus "more sincere"). Additionally, what about people who don't have access to video, or do a poor production job?

If you want transparency, it has to be done by the organization (lots of foot work and following up with where the money was spent by the implementing orgs).


Do you think people who need few hundred dollars to save their life have android phones?


Lots of communities have shared cell phones and use mobile networks because there is no line infrastructure.


I'm typically against organizations that need to live off donations. I think it's an impractical and unsustainable model. Your cause is very close to my heart and I would love to support it, but I'm a creature of convenience. I could make one donation now, but would fail to continue making donations. The two solutions I have seen that are successful at solving this problem are:

1) Automation. E.g. in the movie Office Space they take shavings off transactions (amounting to a few cents or less at a time) and pool them together. Another example: Auto-rounding up my grocery receipt, etc.

2) Recycling funds. I don't see how this would work in a donation based system where cash-flow is one directional, but it works really well for something like Kiva where funds are returned and the option to recycle is extremely easy.

If any non-profit is to be sustainable, they must put in a HUGE amount of effort to obtain large enough recurring funds or make it really easy to provide funds. Since you are targeting individuals, it's going to be difficult to do the former. The latter will take a little more thought.

All this said, I wish you the best of luck.


They could offer a subscription model, and then make it a monthly "game" of deciding where your money's going to go. Lots of people are willing to become sustaining members of charities.

Or, I'm a member of a meta-charity called Foundation Beyond Belief, in which my contribution is distributed to various nonreligious charities based on priorities I set (e.g. 25% of funds to environmental causes, 50% human rights, 25% poverty, or whatever). So for Watsi, maybe I could predefine, say, types of medical treatment, country/region, etc. and then the system heuristically determines where to disburse.

And now that I think about it, Kiva optionally does something similar, so that loan repayments don't just sit stagnant in people's accounts because they haven't gotten around to manually distributing them.


We (Kiva) are also adding monthly donation subscriptions as well, or at least I'm trying to this week for my innovation iteration project.


Is Kiva still growing? Haven't heard much about them recently.


Yep, still growing. In fact they have a pretty cool "free trial" program running right now, where you can assign the funds of a single large lender. (It's a little bit like matching, but you don't even need to put up anything to be matched)

Check it out: http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/giblfiz


Yeah! Kiva is rocking and rolling. We love them :)


These are great points. We would love to enable recurring donations. For example, you could allocate X% of your income every month to "Watsi Credit." We also think that a program like this would be great for Corporate Social Responsibility Programs.

Members of our team work for Kiva and Vittana (and I worked in microfinance for 4 years) and we would love to eventually try and offer a healthcare loan product (or at least encourage patients to open savings accounts). That said, there are lots of things that make this a tough market (e.g. people don't plan to get sick like they plan to start a business, cost of treatment can be more than they could ever repay, etc.). In all honesty, we can't even figure out healthcare in the US, and it's twice as hard in countries like Ethiopia.

Thanks for the feedback. We love it!


Devil's advocate to myself: I heard Jessica Jackley speak once and one of the stories she told that stuck was about the that company offered to automate thousands of dollars to Kiva to go towards microloans. She refused because she wanted people to have a personal connection with borrowers.

I would love to say that if you took X% off my paycheck, I would sign up instantly. But I would just be escaping my responsibility as a citizen then.

It's a tricky situation because I want automation for cash flow, but at the same time I want intimacy with the program and the people it involves.


Exactly. I think that's where the "Watsi Credit" idea comes in. You could allocate $X per month, then head over to Watsi and spend your credit whenever you like. The donation is automated, but you still get to choose who you support.

Does that sound like something you would be interested in?


I'd like this very much, but I'd also like to have it made as easy as possible to spend the credit. I made some quick suggestions in another reply, but I'd like to get an email (or App notification, or something) that prompted me to select from a handful of candidates that were selected in some way (where "some way" can be a lot of different things.

I appreciate that people want to have a connection to the people they fund, and I'd like to have that as well, but I don't necessary need it before I commit to funding--I just want to be able to follow up later on.


You can just send a weekly email with three suggestions and clicking on one of them opens a web page which will select that cause.


Yes please. And maybe credits that are not allocated within N days automatically get directed to a profile that Watsi chooses.


That's a great idea. Perhaps you could select from three options: 1)Receive an update every time you have new credit and allocate it yourself 2)If you don't allocate within X days the credit is automatically allocated to a patient OR 3)Automatically allocate all credit to patients' based on X criteria (location, age, etc.).

We'd love to implement this!


I second the concerns raised by alexanderh. Perhaps directing unallocated funds strictly on a needs basis would go some way towards addressing such concerns?

Such a scheme would also address the question of whether a patient should be expected to sacrifice their privacy in order to obtain funding.


Why would an automatic X% donation be "escaping [your] responsibility as a citizen"?


This is "Death panels" in a fancy suit. Bid on life saving medical treatment from a thumbnail? By someones looks? and a possibly fabricated story?

So now we the internet get to decide who lives and dies? Who has a healthy fulfilling life and who lives with disease and disability? Idk about this idea. Its well intentioned, but oh so wrong all at the same time.

This type of charity should be first come first serve to be fair. Not some bidding war over who's the most sickly (but still cute) looking child, or who has the most compelling story. A human is a human.

The good intentions are there, but something about the way this website presents itself is twisted. Why should any of these people receive preferential funding over any other of them? Why should I get to choose? I'm not an expert on their medical conditions, or who needs more help than others. If this gets people to give money to a good cause, thats fine. But Idk. Still seems odd.

Sorry if this is the kind of "negativity" hacker news is trying to avoid these days, but this is genuinely what I feel.


We are bummed out that the site makes you feel this way, but we genuinely appreciate you voicing your opinion. We're here to listen to the public, and if people disagree with what we are doing, we will shut down immediately. That said, I'd like to point out a few things.

1) This is not a bidding war. We won't remove a profile until it is fully funded. This is why we only post a few profiles at a time (and not hundreds) - to ensure they are all funded in a reasonable amount of time. If the patient needs treatment before the profile is funded, we will front the cost of care.

2) Humanity has always decided who lives and who dies, and it sucks. It makes me angry, but it's a reality. The only difference is now, because of how connected the world is becoming, this reality is a little harder for those of us that are the most fortunate, to ignore.

3) We aren't first come first serve. That wouldn't make sense, because our Doctors identify patients, they don't identify us (that would lead to fraud). Instead, we are lowest-cost, highest-impact first. Every profile is reviewed by at least two independent doctors (usually more) to determine which cases are the best ones to fund (and I assure you that "cuteness" is not a criteria these Doctors use to make a decision). See our FAQ for more info on treatment guidelines.

We feel terrible that our site presents itself in a way that you think is twisted, and we would love to make whatever changes we can to improve it. Feel free to reach out to me directly at chase (at) watsi (dot) org with any other thoughts. We've spent a lot of time thinking about this (and even consulted with a medical ethicist), but we always have a lot more to learn.

But perhaps the most important thing - the internet funded 11 medical treatments today for people that wouldn't have had access to them otherwise. You guys literally changed (and saved) 11 lives. I don't know how that can be a bad thing.


Alexanderh's main concern is he doesn't want to choose who gets treatment:

>This type of charity should be first come first serve to be fair. Not some bidding war over who's the most sickly (but still cute) looking child, or who has the most compelling story. A human is a human. The good intentions are there, but something about the way this website presents itself is twisted. Why should any of these people receive preferential funding over any other of them? Why should I get to choose? I'm not an expert on their medical conditions, or who needs more help than others. If this gets people to give money to a good cause, thats fine. But Idk. Still seems odd.

Can't you also provide a way to pay to a common pool? People who are uncomfortable with choosing can contribute to this pool. You can take money from that pool and forward that to patients who urgently want money for treatment? And people who contributed can see where their money got used (if they want).


Definitely! That's a great suggestion rkwz. There is a new crowdfunding site called Wishbone that actually has a "profile" that serves as a general fund. Would something like that be a good solution? http://wishbone.org/students


Yes, that's exactly what I had in mind!


Alexanderh, that's a really interesting criticism. I understand where your coming from with the concern that the photogenic will absorb more funding than they should (a morally questionable advantage). To a lesser extent I also see why the concept of having people choose, as if sitting in judgment, makes you uncomfortable.

I suspect however that you are thinking of the donation pool as a fixed one, rather than a flexible one. It seems likely that having a face, a name and a story will cause people to engage and ultimately donate more. Donor fatigue ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donor_fatigue ) is a very real thing, and specific interactions with specific recipients that have visible outcomes to the donor on a human scale do a lot to avoid it.

So the question really becomes: Is it ok to let the photogenic people be more likely to get treatment if it means more people get treatment overall? Is it ok to let folks sit in judgment if it means they will save more people as a result.

I think we all have to come to our own conclusions. I for one am blown away by what this site is doing. I'm willing to let the photogenic do better than normal if it means more personal engagement. I also think that we all make choices about who we help live and who we leave to suffer every day. Relegating those choices to chance doesn't seem to me to be any more moral than selecting on other criteria. In fact it's something you are already forced to do because their are several different charities out their to choose between.


How is this a "death panel"? These people are currently not receiving treatment they need, and this site helps give it to them. Nothing is being denied to anyone here.


Not really. There are children on there I see who aren't "cute", cleft palates and all.

I really feel your argument is specious. Having a photo of the child allows you to see the human face of misery.


I also found it genuinely disturbing for the same reason. The 'you decide' aspect of the site seems very sick to me.

I think the moral dilemma could be solved easily by just having a single fund that you pay into. The money is then distributed among the people who need treatment. No input from the giver.


The problem is that you get fewer donations if you do it that way, because people prefer to donate to a story.


Just got an email - "Thanks to you, Sushil's medical treatment has been funded!"

Now that's CRM! I can't think of a single possible better way of making a customer happy. I'm telling everybody I know about this.

The payment process was seamless, the design is lovely and the cause, well, of course.

You guys are amazing.


Haha. Thank you~!


Awesome site, congrats on making the world a better place.

I would suggest that you integrate directly with reputable organizations - it will place an abstraction between you and potential backlash for scamming. Also allows you to provide aid where you don't have direct reach already.

Another idea would be to integrate with hospitals/care givers directly, so you know the money is being spent properly. Hospitals/care givers will be less likely to scam you, as they can benefit in the long term and do have something to lose if caught scamming.


Also, the feedback cycle you have in place is also very exciting. I don't want to downplay what you are doing by likening it to gamification, but positive feedback is key for repeat donations.

From a consumer standpoint, my main qualms when it comes to donations are (1) Control over where my money is spent, and (2) Knowing that my money spent is being put to good use. You guys have the opportunity to knock both those problems out.


Agreed! The update loop is going to be really big for us. We are also considering some other features that would add to the gamification of the site (karma points for donating/sharing, becoming an ambassador for a particular profile, etc.) but those are still all in the brainstorming phase.

Like I said above, transparency is the single most important thing to us, and we spent more than a year establishing our partnerships. If you have any specific questions about transparency and accountability, I am more than happy to field them here. We also have a ton of info on our FAQ: http://watsi.org/faq


Totally. This is actually what we are doing. If you look on the patient profiles, you will find information about the Medical Partners (the healthcare providers).

The thing I am most proud of is that our Medical Partners are absolutely unbelievable. We have a Partners in Health Clinic (Paul Farmer's Organization), an amazing doctor in Ethiopia who our team doctor worked directly with (Dr. Rick Hodes), and a great NGO in Guatemala (featured on ABC).


One of the most powerful "About" pages I've seen:

>>The instant she opened the folder everything came together. There was a full-sized photograph paper clipped to the inside left cover and a document stapled to the right. The photograph showed a young boy with an incision across the width of his iodine-stained chest. The document to the right outlined the patient’s medical condition. The young boy was her son.


Not as powerful if you have seen that same scene performed by a scammer before :(

Thinking of it, it would be just as amazing (and ironic) if the woman's story was a scam too. Something about fate/karma or nature balancing itself.


Thanks! We really appreciate the feedback. It's been a year and eight months since that day on the bus, and we've finally got the platform up!


May i suggest a "I just funded <person>'s medical treatment with XYZ$ on http://watsi.org Facebook-share option?

Or "<Person> just got new medical treatment from watsi.org", with a name and picture of that person..

Something like that to encourage people more to do the same as their friends do :)


We have a share option, we just don't have the pre-populated copy. We will work on that!


Yes, i was just thinking.. what instantly got me was the personal link/story/background/picture to the people you fund on the website. That get's lost with the normal sharing, doesn't it? :)


I'm a bit uncomfortable with this. Who picks the people that get our help? Is it better to pick a few and fix their lives, or should we aim to slightly improve the lives of many?


Well, I can sort of understand what you're saying. But, it's like letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, which actually is a common theme in many of the criticisms. There are people with real problems that need help now or they could perish; I don't see how providing ways to help them could ever be a bad thing. The other alternative is to fund nebulous water projects that might get off the ground in 1-5 years or something like that -- no that there's anything wrong with that but I don't think it is a mutually exclusive thing.


This is excellent. The funding process is fast and seamless. It took me literally less than 30 seconds to fund a treatment. Kudos for an amazing idea and excellent execution.


Adrian, you rock. Thank you so much! If you are ever in San Francisco PM me and I'd love to buy you a beer (or a tea or a juice or whatever)!


I really appreciate the offer, but just to be clear, I didn't fund the whole treatment! (I'm a beer drinker, but I live near Toronto and won't be near San Francisco any time soon - but if plans change, will do.)

I know you've had a ton of ideas thrown at you in this thread, but I've been thinking about your site since donating and I think what would be really amazing, if you can accomplish it somehow, is a way to encourage people to donate regularly.

There are probably many ways you could do this, but here's one: allow people to donate a sum of money, up front, that is not assigned to a particular person who needs treatment. Periodically prompt this person to fund treatments using some portion of this sum. Alternatively, support subscription billing where each time the money is withdrawn, the person is notified and asked to assign the money that was withdrawn to a particular person who needs it.

I really feel that a recurring process of some kind could both vastly increase the amount of money you raise, and also benefit donors by giving them a periodic uplift in their mood and level of happiness. It could become, if this word is not too misplaced, addictive.


Those are awesome ideas! We had never thought of loading up on Watsi Credit (with a large, one-time donation) and I think that's a super cool option to offer donors. No doubt we are going to see a major decrease in traffic after this HN post, and working on ways to retain donors is going to be our next big challenge. Thanks again for the feedback and support, we all really appreciate it! (And if you do come to SF, the beer offer still stands :)


On the 'location' section I'd love to have a link that says 'Learn more about health care in this country.' Or something like that.

I have a fairly good handle on how these situations could occur in the US but in Canada they would be unthinkable! Why, in this specific country, is this person not being taken care of?

As many other have said, best of luck. This is a truly Good endeavor.


Great point. We'd love to have a lightbox that describes the country with a map, some info, and all that fun stuff. A quick note: there are approximately 200 countries in the world, and only 40 have a formal healthcare system. Pretty crazy...


Awesome guys, really nice and fast funding process (though if payment fails you are stuck with plain red message in blank page, you could improve on that one). The advice I can give you - steal best parts from Kiva, they have great and successful site. One of the things I missed was "tip" donation along with the treatment donation.


We love Kiva, and we hope to implement a "tip" option very soon. We just need to head out into the real world and raise some cash from grants, philanthropists, whatever, so we can pay to build all the features we want!


In case anyone couldn't get to the site for a bit, our hosting provider Heroku was seeing some issues with apex/naked domains: https://status.heroku.com/incidents/421 Hopefully it's resolved now. I cranked up another dyno just in case.

Thanks for all the love!


You ROCK Jesse!


Great idea, seems like well executed as well.

It might worth trying to get in touch with give well (http://www.givewell.org/) to get a review, so transparency aspect of it will be much better documented.


Yes! We plan to. They recently rated our Medical Partner, Nyaya Health, as being in the top 1% of all non-profits for accountability and transparency. http://blog.nyayahealth.org/2011/12/10/nyayahealth1/


Great idea!

Questions: how do you select who gets on the site? What protections are in place to prevent scammers listing fake illnesses? What proof is required before funding is handed over? Is funding handed to patient or doctor or someone else??


All great questions brador.

1) We work very closely with our Medical Partners to identify the lowest-cost, highest-impact profiles possible. Their Doctors identify the patients based on our criteria, and then we verify and accept the profiles as we receive them. 2) We only deal with our Medical Partners. Funds are sent directly to the partner to pay for the cost of treatment, and NEVER sent to the patient. The patients don't even know we exist until the Doctor tells them that they have been selected as a candidate for Watsi funding. 3) We require a full written profile from our Medical Partner's doctor, a photo, and a signed release waiver. After the treatment is provided our Medical Partners send us proof of the cost of treatment for our records. 4) We never deal with patients, only with our Medical Partners. As you can tell, a lot of trust is placed on our partners, and that is why we only partner with the best. You can read about the partners on our site, but currently they are:

a) Dr. Rick Hodes (CNN Hero Finalist) http://rickhodes.org/ b) Nyaya Health / Partners in Health (Givewell rated them as top 1% of all non-profits) http://www.nyayahealth.org/ c) Wuqu' Kawoq (featured on ABC) http://www.wuqukawoq.org/

Beyond just partnering with the best, we have personal relationships with each one of our MP's. Feel free to learn more in our FAQ: http://watsi.org/faq and on our transparency document: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ah3wJ9CRQzyHdDZ...


This breakdown needs to advertised more on the site. i browsed around a little and didn't know this is how it works. youre going to have a challenge of people trusting you... and this breakdown really helps get past that.


I love this, I use Kiva and the rewards are wonderful as is their way of keeping my money in circulation. But I'm not a U.S. citizen so I only donate a small amount because it's not tax-deductable in my country. You know what I would love? Some one to build a global non-profit money distribution center, so I can donate a lot more in my country and the money can go where I choose. Right now I keep my donations limited in price unless it's a local charity to my tax country and I'd like to see that change.


> 100% of your donation directly funds treatment!

ITYM 98.6% - 96.6% - £0.20 GBP of your donation directly funds treatment!

Or is there some awesome charitable PayPal fee structure that you are using?


I think PayPal does take a cut. Look at their transparency doc: https://docs.google.com/a/cordys.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ah...


Yes. PayPal takes 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. This usually amounts to about 5% because of the low average donation amount. We hope to lower this. If anyone knows someone at PayPal, hook it up!


I think that it may be the case by law that the donor cannot select the individual recipient of a donation if the organization wants to retain tax exemption.


Beautiful. This site works on the same principle as ChildFund (Christian Children's Fund), but actually delivers the money where it implies it does. When faced with actual real people that are in need, it is difficult not to donate, especially that the donation process is so smooth and seamless.

Not only made me reach for my wallet, it made me register on HH and comment, and that's much harder.

Bravo! Keep on making this world a better place for all.


Thank you so much!


I'd love to find a way for Gittip (http://gittip.com/about) to help you fund Watsi.org. The "public benefit corporation" sounds like what I was aiming at with open companies:

http://blog.gittip.com/post/26350459746/the-first-open-compa...


Great work! Landing looks clean and within 15 seconds I know exactly what the core message and values are. I appreciate the work you guys have done to make it as transparent as possible as I know that is a major point of contention when it comes to crowdfunding.

Small nit: Is it just me or is the "email" button on the profile page actually popping up the share modal on hover?


not just you - it definitely pops up the share modal.


Yes, it is. We need to change this. We just added those social features last night, and we still have some work to do.


Definitely get the 501c3 info up as well. Some employers will match employee charitable donations. Mine does and I love to use it to "stick it to the man". I would be interested in giving and registering you as a charity eligible for donation matching. Donations can be money, time, software, etc... It can be a great way to "leverage up" your giving.


I once developed a similar application for a large charity which included the ability to place a widget to donate to the 'current charity' on your site/blog and had an associated leader board of who collected the most donations.

That project was never launched due to the cost of integrating with their ERP, but the idea might be worth considering for Watsi as well.


This is brilliant idea and one that is perfectly executed. I would love to contribute whichever way I can and the way it brings down the barrier to contribute is remarkable. I would love to contribute in a personalized way than to donate to an organization where I don't have any clue what happened to the money. Wish you all the success!


Thank you!


I imagine a lot of people will be reading the FAQ page, so you might want to correct this typo:

In order to be eligible for Watsi funding, patients must be inflicted with an illness that meets the treatment criteria and subsequently be unable to afford the required medical treatment as a result of poverty.

You surely mean "afflicted" rather than "inflicted"


Good catch. We are going to change that ASAP. Thank you!


Good catch! Pushing the change now. Thank you!


We just pushed the update. Thank you!


A very successful launch with an incredible objective (one profile already funded today). This is exciting stuff!


Does adding a "monthly subscription" type option make sense? It does add another level of complexity(user accounts and whatnot), but I think people would like the convenience of automatically donating.

Maybe having the option to split their donation as they see fit(1/3, half and half, 100% to just one, etc).

Good luck with the site. :)


We can't wait to enable recurring donations. It's at the top of our list!


Wow, thanks for making this!

I just shared this on Facebook but the FB auto summary thing didn't pull up an image as it usually does for links. You should look into fixing that because having a powerful image (as you do on the homepage) will definitely increase visibility and click-through rates.


This made me really misty eyed. It's a really good idea that will change peoples lives. I'm going to share this to everyone I know.

Please share this on Reddit as well and make it viral.

Nothing brings me down like seeing children with medical conditions and parents that can't afford treatment. It's so sad.


I suck at Reddit and I apparently shared in the wrong subreddit and got downvoted. We would love help from any Reddit experts out there. Feel free to post!


Glad to see you guys take part in GSVC. Really miss this competition, and the social enterprise community at UC Berkeley. Being a non-profit I bet it was pretty tough to survive with competitors who focus on for profit or non/for profit hybrids that scale.


brilliant idea, specially with the update on the outcome of the treatment. hope this succeeds


Thank you bezaorj! We've all donated our time to build this, and its been a year in the making. We're excited to see how it goes!


I think this has a lot of potential, you just need a good catalyst to accelerate this beginning process would be a retweet by a person with lots of followers... an indie musician that I know got retweeted by howard stern (5+ million followers) and his song (that was really good) went viral. The idea of the website is really good as well, people just need to discover your website. I would look for any musician, actor that has 500k+ followers and try to get a retweet from him and then move to bigger fishes...


Totally! We need to get a few big names to help jump start our growth. We're going to start reaching out to people today. We'd love to fund all these treatments our first day live!


It would be even better if you integrated some way to fund sustainable projects related to the health and wellbeing of these people.

Saving someone's life is an amazing thing. Helping a community develop programs to saves lives into the future is on another level.


Excellent point. I am so glad you brought this up. One thing we want to do is partner with microfinance organizations and enroll all of our patients in financial literacy courses, as well as have them open up savings accounts, so they can better prepare for medical emergencies.


One suggestion: please get a copywriter to write your headlines and subject headings. The current "we just built a site that saves lives" is epically bad. You are leaving money on the table when you make ambiguous, poorly written copy.


That said, it's a beautiful website and a beautiful idea. Sincerely.


Wow, that's awesome.

I felt bad having to decide between them and funded all 3 that still need funding :)

p.s.: unfortunately i still have a "bad feeling" because the internet is full of scams, i guess that will be your hardest fight, convincing people you are not a scam


Hey Buster - Gaining trust is our single greatest challenge, as well as our top priority. We really appreciate your support, and I'd love to hop on the phone with you and answer any/all questions you have. Feel free to email me at Chase (at) watsi (dot) org and I will send you my number. Or, if you are in San Francisco, I'd be happy to meet in person!

Thanks for your support!


This is really cool. I would love an option for a repeating monthly donation. Maybe send me an email with candidates either based on random draw, treatments which just need a bit more to get over the top, or something similar.


This is awesome, So glad people are out there doing good deeds like this. I immediately thought to myself, wow this is really cool.

If you guys do nothing else in your careers you'll still be able to say you've made a difference. That is truly awesome.

Congrats!


Thank you!


Absolutely amazing, love the idea, love the way you implemented it.

I'll definitely be signing up and making some donations.

My main concern though is as this scales (which I'm sure it will because it's awesome) you will run into the scammers.


Scale will be tough, but our goal is to partner with a few large organizations (Doctors Without Borders for example) that can provide a lot of patients. That will help alleviate a lot of risk as opposed to working with 1,000 smaller clinics.


Any way you could add a brief synopsis of your organization to your "site unavailable" page? I (and I'm sure others) would be much more likely to keep the tab open/check back soon if that were the case.


We got rid of that page ;)


All in all this is a really great idea! Keep going and keep improving!


Gracias!


Hi, I just tried to donate and logged in through Paypal but I get "Something went wrong": http://cl.ly/image/0Z0H0n3i1f0q


Thanks for supporting us, and I apologize about that. We are going to look into it ASAP.


This is brilliant! What a great cause. I have a few questions for you on the technical side:

- What did you code this in?

- How many developers did you have?

- How long did it take you?

- What kinds of problems did you encounter on the way?

Congrats on the launch.


Thanks for the kind words.

- Ruby/Rails/HTML5 - 1 dev + some freelance assistance on the front-end - Took a while since we are all working part-time as volunteers. About a year total. Probably a few months of solid dev time. Setting up operations took a lot of time. - Hardest part is working as volunteers. Everything takes 5x longer when people aren't being paid.

Thank you!


I'm in love with the idea, but the frequency that payments get bounced via Kickstarter bothers me when the funds are applied directly do medical procedures like this.


Awesome site! One point of feedback: the PayPal workflow is so bad it almost made me stop my donation. It would be much easier with a standard CC payment option.

Good luck!


We hope to switch away from PayPal asap. Trust us, that's the first update we're going to make. Braintree is looking pretty good right about now.


Please keep it as a choice, though. It's easy for me, i'd prefer Paypal over CC.


Look at Stripe also -- very easy API to work with. I hear good things.


Having had a little experience with both, I'd concur that Stripe is probably going to be easier to integrate. (Although my Braintree experience is more limited and dates back 2 years or so.)


Maybe you can partner with Stripe? They could provide some lower fees in exchange of increased brand awareness.


Amazing non-profit and website! Truly for a great cause.


Thank you!


Great work. I would suggest tweaking the <title> text when there are zero or one fundings going on to encourage me to donate still.


And...looks like everything's fully funded now.

Between this and the Tesla museum crowdfunding has given me optimism about the world we live in these days.


This has been a little crazy. Way more traffic than we anticipated!

We are working on loading our reserve profiles now!


RSS feed of profiles should be high on your priority list. Easy to implement, and bound to be very effective.


Looks good. Minor minor minor nit-pick: Twitter logo needs to be updated :)

https://twitter.com/logo


Ah! You are totally right. We will get on that. Thank you!


Nice! Totally awesome that you might literally save lives. I agree with the others that the transparency thing is the most important.


You guys are fantastic! Thank you for finding a way to save those that are sometimes overlooked!


Thank you!


All treatments are fully funded. Wow, that's an awesome job folks (both Watsi and Hacker News)



This is absolutely great. Spread the love on twitter.


Bravo

You are doing a great thing, and I applaud you


Thanks, we really appreciate the love!


Does it get any better than this?


:)


So awesome! :)


Thanks Nick!


Does it bother you that you are subsidizing defective genetics and thus making humanity less fit and thus increasing the average level of suffering? You might think you are being nice by decreasing the suffering of an individual, but you are also dooming consciousness to suffer being born into a defective host that otherwise would not have happened if not for your subsidization of defective genetics.

I am curious as to what the higher than average enlightened readership of HN thinks on this?

Of course it is very taboo to say what I did as the medical industrial complex is on the side of causing this problem as they are then guaranteed not just one more customer, but a new lineage of customers.


I have never commented before, but I had to reply to this. I assume you are being serious, but hope you just have a twisted sense of humor, or perhaps you have just read too much Schopenhauer recently.

I believe that just because someone is born with a disadvantage or have health issues does not mean they are defective. Everyone has as much a right to life as anyone else.

In support of your beliefs, I would be interested to know your responses to the following questions:

At what point does a person's suffering cause a sufficient decline in the global "average level of suffering" to imply they should not be allowed to reproduce or continue living? Should all sick people be left to die?

Should we serve the depressed arsenic instead of offering counselling and medication?

Should we just execute people of higher than average IQ, since ignorance is bliss?

We all have defects, should we all die to spare the planet?

How do you calculate average suffering? What is the unit of measure?

Does the momentary joy of seeing the birth of a child outweigh years of chronic pain?


No, I am not joking at all. This is a serious mater. Unless you want humanity to eventually degenerate to beyond even the point where everyone is dependent on multiple surgeries simply to live past just being born, then this is something that needs to be though about, discussed, and rectified - no mater how difficult a subject.

Some of your questions appear to me to be purposely absurd in order to make the topic seem absurd. To answer your first question though, which is a reasonable one: It may not be a simple answer of some point is too defective, but the answer there must obviously be something other than the current idea that no level of defectiveness is too defective to be aided to breed more unfortunate burdened souls. My personal feeling is that the line has to be somewhere around being too defective to live without medical intervention beyond childhood or perhaps better is the point before one is otherwise able to have children and raise and support them to the age where they are self supportive.

Your pointing out that the issue is a complex one with no easy answer does not justify the continued destructive course that humanity is treading down.

Regardless of how hard an issue it is to solve, it must be recognized that the current setup of unlimited medical intervention to keep people alive and breeding, no mater how defective, in fact results in a degenerating gene pool, a downward spiral of suffering. This is the true reason why medicare costs keep increasing to the point now where it is the majority expenditure of any western nation (even in America, it is greater there than how much is spent on the military). Again you can see why the medical industrial complex is set on continuing this trend. If not for the limits of economics, this would eventually consume all resources of the world just to keep itself alive with medicine.

In some countries this has led to the talk of not providing medical intervention for some groups of people who need it to survive. Unfortunately the talk is always around not giving it to the old people in order to save money. While they may seem less important to save, it is actually the wrong group to withhold intervention from, as saving old people is not destructive to the gene pool. They need to start talking about withholding it from the opposite end of the age spectrum.


The issue is only complex because you believe that some people have inferior DNA than other people, and you posit that there exists some people who are "defective", and who should not pass on their genes through reproduction.

Your reasoning is absurd, and has been demonstrated as such by the questions asked of you. Such questioning is part of a valid form of argument known as reductio ad absurdum. It has the unfortunate (some would argue fortunate!) side effect of making the one putting forwarded the invalid argument look ridiculous.

Of course, sometimes reducing to the absurd occurs in reality. It wasn't that long ago that sterilisation of those deemed "defective" was being done in first world countries such as the U.S. Your ideas are a branch of eugenics, which has been widely discredited for some time now.

So before you tell the readership of HN that the idea should be taken seriously, I regret to inform you that not only have people done so, but the majority categorically reject it for extremely good reasons.


If a program's code (DNA) has bugs that cause the system to fail when running without expensive workarounds (medical intervention), would that not be called bugs in the code? Also called defects? Thus it is defective code that cannot run without expensive workarounds.

Your understanding of what is eugenics is flawed. What I am talking about is not eugenics. Eugenics is artificial selection for attempted good. What is happening is artificial selection that results in degeneration, which is bad. That is called dysgenics. I am against that, and thus you can only call my argument anti-dysgenic.

Anyways, it is your comment that is absurd, as demonstrated by the majority of it being an insult. Try to remain civil - it better facilitates enlightenment of all parties to the discussion.


You are seeing insults where there are none.

I don't believe that comparing humanity with computer code is particularly wise. However, to use your analogy - if there is a bug in the code you fix it, and you correct any problems that the bug causes. That would be the ideal of modern science, but we aren't there yet.

To be able to implement your ideas of genetic purity (which is basically your argument!) we would need to either a. Stop those with genetic "defects" from breeding, or b. withdraw treatment from them and hope they die before they have offspring, or c. end the life of those people to take away strain from the medical system and prevent them from reproducing. Regardless, to know this there would need to be mandatory mass screening of the population to make these determinations. Go work out the moral objections and monetary costs that would result from THAT, if you will!

Furthermore, your original argument is that those with congenital defects cause excessive strain on health systems. Yet where do you get your figures from? I would be very interested.

Yet there is more that you haven't considered. Using your own argument - which I find to be so terribly wrong - you haven't considered that not assisting those with a genetic defect may remove positive genetic attributes from the gene pool. Now you have the problem of judging whether one aspect of their genetics should cause them to propagate their genes. But if you do let that propagate, then you are exhibiting anti-dysgenics, which you abhore.

What makes your argument particularly specious is that you never consider the intrinsic worth of the person receiving the treatment. On top of this, you think that it is moral to refuse treatment for those suffering from illnesses because they are defective. And yet they are not defective, they have a particular defect that is causing them medical problems.

In short, I consider your ideas cruel, inequitable, poorly reasoned and ill-considered. That's not an insult: it's a reasoned opinion.


It is actually quite wise to consider DNA like any other programming language. It is a much more complicated language, being a spatial programming language, but it is a programming language none the less. Such a perspective provides great insight.

Anyways, you are correct that we are not there yet with actually fixing the bugs in code. We are not even remotely close to that point unfortunately.

The ideas of not subsidizing excessive defectiveness are a far cry from anything to do with genetic purity. It seems that you are in clear bias with a motive to shut down any discussion on the topic by poisoning the well of these truths by injecting labels such as 'genetic purity' and 'eugenics'. Any enlightened reader can see that your only arguments are appeals to emotion and guilt by association. A fallacious association as I have proved.

My original argument is simply that subsidizing excessive defectiveness is increasing the amount of suffering in the world, not helping to reduce it as one might intuitively believe. You are correct however that it also causes an excessive burden. An ever increasing burden. Medicare costs are spiraling out of control in all nations with socialized medicine, that includes America (Medicare and Medicaid, de facto free emergency care, and so on). In fact, the American federal budget allocates more to socialized medicine than to the military. A military known for its expansive cost. It will only become worse with the new full blown explicit socialized medicare system recently affirmed by the supreme court. This dysgenic path humanity is taking is the primary reason for the ever increasing medicare costs of countries with socialist medicare. This is off-topic from my original point, however, I share it with you as you asked and said you were very interested.

Your next paragraph is flawed in saying that somehow being anti-dysgenic is being dysgenic. I am advocating the lack of action. You are saying that requires selection? There is no selection I am calling for. I am advocating to let nature do the selection. I am calling for less artificial intervention. Not more.

Your next point is also defective in saying that someone who has a defect is not defective. I refer you to my programming analogy from my previous comment. A system with such grave defects that it cannot operate without expensive workarounds is certainly worthy of being called defective.

To your conclusion: you may feel such emotions regarding the harsh realities of the problem at hand, but emotions are not logic, and do not a reasoned opinion make.


Oh dear. A rebuttal looks to be in order:

It is actually quite wise to consider DNA like any other programming language. It is a much more complicated language, being a spatial programming language, but it is a programming language none the less. Such a perspective provides great insight.

I said, actually, "I don't believe that comparing humanity with computer code is particularly wise". However, you haven't proven anything in your sentence - you have made an assertion, but you haven't explained why this is a great insight.

Anyways, you are correct that we are not there yet with actually fixing the bugs in code. We are not even remotely close to that point unfortunately.

Indeed - to compare DNA to computer code, with computer code we can make changes to fix the problem. With DNA, we cannot do that as of yet.

The ideas of not subsidizing excessive defectiveness are a far cry from anything to do with genetic purity. It seems that you are in clear bias with a motive to shut down any discussion on the topic by poisoning the well of these truths by injecting labels such as 'genetic purity' and 'eugenics'. Any enlightened reader can see that your only arguments are appeals to emotion and guilt by association. A fallacious association as I have proved.

The ideas of not subsidizing "excessive defectiveness" are not a far cry at all. By discriminating against those who have congenital defects when it comes to providing health care, you are essentially labelling them as not fit to be supported by society. Furthermore, you have not explained what is exactly meant by "excessive defectiveness".

For someone who doesn't like the term "genetic purity", you have a way of bandying about terms such as "excessive defectiveness" with abandon. This makes your protestations that I use appeals to emotion all the more interesting, given that you are currently doing this via ad hominem attacks (e.g. accusing me of poisoning the well of discourse and that my arguments are guilt by association, etc.).

My original argument is simply that subsidizing excessive defectiveness is increasing the amount of suffering in the world, not helping to reduce it as one might intuitively believe. You are correct however that it also causes an excessive burden. An ever increasing burden. Medicare costs are spiraling out of control in all nations with socialized medicine, that includes America (Medicare and Medicaid, de facto free emergency care, and so on). In fact, the American federal budget allocates more to socialized medicine than to the military. A military known for its expansive cost. It will only become worse with the new full blown explicit socialized medicare system recently affirmed by the supreme court. This dysgenic path humanity is taking is the primary reason for the ever increasing medicare costs of countries with socialist medicare. This is off-topic from my original point, however, I share it with you as you asked and said you were very interested.

Thank you for the attempt at information, but I haven't seen a single figure other than an assertion that medicine costs more than military spending in the U.S. Also, to put it finely, the United States does not equate to the entire world. You are, in fact, wrong when you say that medical costs are spiralling out of control in all nations with socialized medicine (what a wonderfully emotive term, by the way!). I live in Australia, which has a fantastic health system funded by the Federal and State Governments, with a parallel private health care system. Free health care for most medical conditions is given to all. Medical costs over here do indeed increase over time, but they have not been "spiralling out of control". In fact, costs have been increasing not because of congenital defects, but rather because of lifestyle issues such as overeating and lack of exercise.

Quoting only the American Federal budget when making an assertion that "all nations with socialized medicine" is not only showing a very distorted world view, but one that is very easy to disprove - which I did above!

I love the term "socialist medicare", incidentally. Well played - nothing quite like using a vague and emotive term that certain others find concerning.

Your next paragraph is flawed in saying that somehow being anti-dysgenic is being dysgenic. I am advocating the lack of action. You are saying that requires selection? There is no selection I am calling for. I am advocating to let nature do the selection. I am calling for less artificial intervention. Not more.

In that case, I apologize as I misunderstood your original assertion which is even more absurd than that which I thought you were saying! Next time you are sick, or if your eyesight starts failing due to a family traight, or if you have a congenital heart condition I strongly advise you to follow through your convictions and don't attempt to go to hospital. In fact, this must be a substantial cost saving as you don't have to fork out money for health insurance. I suppose those are the upsides to doing nothing.

Your next point is also defective in saying that someone who has a defect is not defective. I refer you to my programming analogy from my previous comment. A system with such grave defects that it cannot operate without expensive workarounds is certainly worthy of being called defective.

This point is defective in saying that someone with genetic strengths is not strong. I am, of course, being facetious. I would love to be a fly on the wall if you were to discuss your opinions with Steven Hawking. Though I'm not sure he would give you the time of day...

To your conclusion: you may feel such emotions regarding the harsh realities of the problem at hand, but emotions are not logic, and do not a reasoned opinion make.

"excessive defectiveness", "you are in clear bias with a motive to shut down any discussion on the topic by poisoning the well of these truths", "an enlightened reader", "socialized medicine", "Medicare costs are spiraling out of control".

You are so sure of your argument that you have ignored all the opposing views and questions (I notice that you have not answered many of them) and do not even recognize your own emotive language!


You are welcome for the information regarding the United States. There is plenty more if you look yourself, but it does seem that you are not yet interested in considering other sides of the argument. Of course I never said America is the whole world, I don't even live there. It was simply the example I gave.

America is a great example, as many people believe that their deficit problems are solely the cost of their wars. To open minded people it is usually an eye opener to see that they spend more on medicine. Australia has the same problem as every other western nation: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420435. It is hard to argue that Australia's decades of health care spending growing at almost twice the rate of GDP growth to be anything other than spiraling out of control. You ultimately admit the trend I speak of, but then without evidence try to blame it on incidentals such as unhealthy eating and exercise.

It certainly is a far cry. Think about what you are claiming: That my ideas are of genetic purity. That is an extreme that is a far cry from simply not wanting excessive defectiveness - being the opposite extreme. By claiming my belief that one extreme is bad is somehow advocating for the other extreme is looking at it in black and white, completely ignoring the fact that there is a gradient of options and I am talking about some middle ground being better than either of the extremes.

As for appeals to emotion and the like, I see: You use them your whole argument up until now, but after I point out your tactic of relying on them, you try to claim it is instead I who have been relying on them, simply for calling a spade a spade. Socialized medicare is simply socialized medicare. There is perhaps no simpler term for it. Medical welfare? The government forcing you to divert your resources from your own offspring to subsidize others defective genetics at the barrel of a gun? What term would you prefer I use? If you really feel that ashamed of the fact your country has socialized medicare, that still does not make my assertion of you having it an intended insult or any kind of appeal to any emotion of such disgust.

I certainly have not used ad hominem attacks simply by pointing out your continued obvious attempts to inject labels such as 'genetic purity' and 'eugenics' into the discussion. Again, simply calling a spade a spade. You are doing better now, but it is undeniable that the meat of your earlier responses was to simply dismiss my argument because to you it sounds like 'eugenics' or 'ideas of genetic purity'.

I wish my stance were saving me money as you assume it does. But unfortunately my government takes my money at gun point to fund subsidized medicare. There are some defects that if I came down with I do truly feel in my heart that I would resist the natural urge of self preservation and accept my fate for the good of humanity. For example, cancer. So yes, I truly wish I could opt out of the injustice of socialized medicare. I also inherited the traits of being smart enough and having enough fortitude to save my money and thus I could afford to fix myself after almost anything like broken limbs and other accidents that are not my fault. However, if I tried to opt out of the dysgenic system, men with guns would come and take my wealth by force, and throw me in jail. Meanwhile, my government just announced they wouldn't fund the best (not even expensive) treatment for prostate cancer, whilst they continue to fund sex changes. Ah, the freedom of choice that socialism gives you.

Your using the Stephen Hawking argument is nothing more than an anecdote. It is the common argument: what if the person you save invented the cure for cancer. I always laughed at that one hearing it over my life. It essentially argues that the expense of spending unlimited resources to keep every possible soul alive is worth the off chance that one of the people you save will be worth it. Too bad it dooms future generations to more dependence and suffering than that one person is ever going to make up for.

That is the essential fact here. The current course of humanity is to do what we feel is good to do in this area, but it is entirely short sighted. In the medium and long term we are increasing the amount of inherent suffering, increasing the inherent dependence of man on medical intervention and thus the state and industry. We are becoming sicker, and less free. That cute little kid you saved by donating money to their medical procedure might make you feel good about yourself since you have lessened their immediate suffering, however, their lesser suffering does not offset the essentially unlimited suffering of the lineage of defectives that you have just created with your selfish desire to feel better about yourself. I do not intend that as an insult, as it is simply a vulnerability in human nature that the average person has which has been exploited to justify the dysgenic medical system by the medical industrial complex and those who have in their interest increasing the dependence of the people on the state. It is a human nature, and a system, that must be examined - instead of dismissed with emotive labels such as 'ideas of genetic purity'.


It's only a problem when people with clearly defective genes are having children.

It's ok to cure people with defective genes as long as they do not breed.




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