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Your Take: Legalize Organ Trafficking?

Posted By Jim On 09/04/2009 @ 6:26 am In Your Take | 60 Comments

There’s been a lot of buzz in the news lately on the issue of organ trafficking. While this CNN story [3] wasn’t the first time I heard Nick Rosen’s story of selling a kidney for $20,000, it is certainly a sign that the discussion of selling organs is coming back into the spotlight.

The story of Rosen probably isn’t all that different from other people who have sold organs. They saw an ad, answered it, duped the hospital doing the transplant, and got paid. The difference was that he then bragged about it in a “documentary” about how easy it was to do (I say brag because the video supposedly has him lying on a bed covered in cash).

What do you think about organ trafficking? I’m against the idea. I believe someone should be able to sell an organ if they want to but I think that making organ trafficking legal opens up a whole host of legal, economic, and moral issues we can’t answer.

For example, if the market price of an organ is $20,000 then anyone who can’t possibly pay that amount would simply die. Any “rational” person, in the economic sense, who would freely donate a kidney to a stranger would now demand $20,000 because that’s the market price of a kidney. What if the person is mentally unstable? What if they aren’t considered emotionally fit enough to make the decision?

It just seems like once you put a price on something like that, you introduce a lot more headaches than you’re probably prepared to deal with.

What do you think?

(PHoto: myklroventine [4])


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[3] CNN story: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/09/01/blackmarket.organs/index.html

[4] myklroventine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/myklroventine/3627942778/sizes/s/

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