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medical

Why is selling kidneys illegal?

I was listening to “Talk of the Nation” today and I ended up being so mad I was yelling at the radio. The program was about the busting of an organ brokering service in NYC. All of the commentators had the assumption that this practice was dangerous, to whom I couldn’t tell. One guest even went so far as to try to stop people from traveling to the US to sell a kidney. Am I the only one that thinks that people traveling to the US TO SAVE LIVES is a good thing? I wish I could have asked her this; Are you telling me that if they spent money to come here and give their kidney to someone that would be OK but them being paid to do the same thing is immoral and dangerous?

Give me a break. There are two obvious critiques of the ban on organ selling. The first I’ve already alluded to. If you can do it for free, why can’t you get paid for it? A person is saved in any case. That leads to the other argument. Right now, every person in the process of organ transplantation benefits, except the donor. The recipient obviously gets their life back, perhaps even has it saved. the hospital, the surgeon, the transportation involved, they all get paid. So why is the donor left out? Why is it OK for everyone else to benefit and not the guy that is actually giving something up?

Instead of viewing those people that got busted as dangerous criminals, perhaps we should see them for what they are, life savers. Everyone was willing, it was done in the US for crying out loud, where’s the danger? I understand worrying about “exploiting” people, even if I don’t agree with it. What I don’t understand is why we don’t worry more about the people that are dying, dying from something that is easily solved.

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