With a severe kidney shortage, should we pay donors? An article in today’s Wall Street Journal examines the topic.
“At the core of the kidney-sale debate are complex issues surrounding transplantation. Given the imbalance of supply and demand, physicians and policy makers are forced to ration what’s available while considering more radical ideas for obtaining organs.”
The article goes on to say that since a US ban on organ sales went into effect in 1984, the gap between supply and demand has widened significantly.
I suppose I’m very biased on this debate. My father is in need of a kidney. My sister and I are not eligible to donate to him. Unfortunately, this is the case for most, if not all, of our extended family.
Several blogs are already buzzing about the article and the various angles of the debate. The Freakonmics blog has all manner of folk entering opinions on the moral, legal and economic impact of an organ marketplace. Economist Mark Perry concludes in his blog that “Market pricing for kidneys would eliminate the artificial shortage and save thousands of lives every year. ”
What can you do? At the very least, mark the back of your driver’s license and tell your family you want to be a donor. In Wisconsin, you can find information at the DOT web-site. Outside of Wisconsin, just Google “<state> organ donation program”.
What do you think about the concept of selling organs?