Blocking trade in organs is costing lives
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Throughout the world, thousands of people die while waiting for donated organs that never arrive. A 2008 paper reported that since 1999 over 30,000 people have died while waiting for a kidney transplant in the US alone.
In the same country a new study shows that more people would be prepared to “donate” a kidney if financial payment was available, and also that the donors would not consist of a disproportionate number of poor people. The results come as little surprise - the only country in the world without a waiting list for kidney transplants is Iran, which also happens to be the only country with a regulated system of allowing payments for kidneys.
Advocates of liberalisation note that the very poor are even more vulnerable under systems which ban organ vending, as international black markets threaten their wellbeing, and even their lives.
It's about time we gave organ markets a chance - thousands of people are dying through their obstruction, and unsubstantiated concerns about “exploiting the poor” are not sufficient grounds for sending these patients to an early grave.