Monday, June 14, 2010

Will Incentivizing Organ Donation Lead To A Black Market In Organ Trafficking?

Sally Satel is an MD who had a kidney transplant a few years ago, and it’s changed her perspective on how we should go about organ donation. She’s firmly in the let's-incentivize-the-donors camp. However, I’m not convinced by her arguments addressing how this won’t become abused and lead to a black market in organ trafficking.
Altruism + incentive = more organ donations
In March 2006 a friend gave me her right kidney. I had been searching for a donor for more than a year — my kidneys mysteriously gave out in 2004 — and things were not going well.
Three friends offered to donate but backed out. Frustrated at first, I soon found myself oddly relieved. I dreaded the constricting obligation that would surely come with accepting such a sacrifice. I wished I could buy a kidney just to avert the emotional debt.
Soon, however, I wanted to buy one for a more obvious reason: without a new kidney, I would spend years on life-draining dialysis. Mercifully, in late 2005 I received an e-mail from Virginia, a casual friend who lived halfway across the country. Virginia was a brilliant writer who had heard from a mutual friend that I needed a kidney. more

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