Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

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!

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact