Monday, December 13, 2004

BBC NEWS | Health | Call to legalise live organ trade

Personally I don't buy the ethical arguments against it and I'm sure my moral arguments for legalisation will probably fall on flat ears so nevermind this set of arguments.

So let's take it purely on a CBA on the basis of a harm reduction policy. The basic arguments for and against such a move have pretty much been dealt with in the BBC link above but here are a couple more that might be useful.

Would it create a situation whereby on the rich would be able to afford it? This situation might be execerbated if no one is willing to donate his or her kidneys unless there is some monetary gain to be gotten from it. But as the situation stands, most organ transplants are done when the doner is dead (for obvious reasons, the kidneys being one of the few organs which a person can survive with one or partially, another being the liver), so that shouldn't be a major issue (especially in conjunction with opt out programmes).

So the likelihood of such a problem cropping up would be for such transplants such as kidneys and livers amongst others. And while it is probably very likely that such transplants would go to the rich, we have to face the fact that already money is important in the kind, type, quality and extend of medical treatment that can be gotten. Even if one wants to consider equity, at least this frees up dialysis machines and beds and waiting lists so why not?
The trade apparently is flourishing so regulation would be useful to minimise the harm and prevent abuses already occuring today.


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