Our body parts shouldn’t be for sale
The Washington Post | December 29, 2015
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By Francis Delmonico and Alexander Capron
Organ transplants have extended and improved the lives of more than a million patients over the past 60 years. This is a testament to the dedication and creativity of medical professionals as well as to the generosity of both living and deceased organ donors.
Nonetheless, the rising rate of kidney disease means that some patients won’t get the transplant they’re waiting for. That shortage of organs has led to proposals to lift the prohibition on payment that has been part of U.S. organ donation law since 1984. But buying organs would be wrong. And aside from being wrong, it would also harm existing, voluntary donation programs and be ineffective in increasing the supply of organs. There are better ways to increase the number of organs donated than paying for donations.
In recent decades, thousands of organs have been bought from the destitute around the world, for transplantation into the social elite in their own countries or “transplant tourists” from other nations. This has tarnished the reputation of organ transplantation and led to poor medical outcomes. In all countries, it is the poor who sell organs as a way out of their financial straits — usually only temporarily...