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Wanted: $$ For Donor Body Parts

There is an ever-soaring demand for organ donors in this country, and thousands of transplant patients die waiting every year. Despite years of public awareness, the number of willing donors has stayed constant. It's time, supporters say, to offer a modest money incentive to encourage people to donate.

Everyday, Angie Cregan waits for a new kidney.

But, as CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, the right donor is nowhere in sight. Only dialysis is keeping her alive.

"It's just an endless hoping," says Cregan. "Just wondering, 'Is today going to be my day? Am I ever going to have that day?'"

Livers are in shortest supply, but much of America's transplant system is in a crisis.

To encourage more donors, the American Medical Association supports studying another approach: paying for transplanted organs, which federal law now forbids.

"It really isn't unethical," says Dr. Robert Sade, of the AMA ethics council. "There really aren't any good reasons other than a gut feeling that it just doesn't feel right, which is not a good reason for 6,000 people to die in any given year."

Everyday, 15 to 20 people die waiting for a transplant.

The financial incentives under consideration are as low as $500,000, but to critics, any price for a body part cheapens the gift of life.

Ann Sechrist lost her 16-year-old son Clayton in a car accident.

He had his driver's license all of four days.

His organs and tissue live on in 43 other people.

Ann Sechrist says it's just wrong to put a price tag on such a gift.

"It just goes against my belief, I guess," she says. "My body's not for sale, and I certainly never would have sold my son's. It's just not for sale."

Beverly Williamson agrees.

The heart that beats inside her once belonged to Clayton Sechrist.

"God gives us a life and then he takes that life away," says Williamson. "Now, who are we to sell it or accept compensation for it?"

Williamson has her happy ending, but the slow dance with uncertainty goes on for Cregan.

She supports considering financial incentives.

"If that's what it's going to take for somebody to save someone's life, I think it's a wonderful thing," she says.

Until then, she lives on dialysis and hope.