TEXT OF STORY
Scott Jagow: You’ve probably heard horror stories about people being kidnapped, and waking up to find one of their kidneys had been removed. The Cato Institute in Washington says there’s a way to snuff out the black market for kidneys: legalize the sale of human organs.
Cato makes its case at a forum today. Here’s Nancy Marshall Genzer.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: Diabetes is on the rise. The disease eventually destroys kidneys. Waiting lists for scarce kidney transplants are growing.
Cato’s Sigrid Fry-Revere says legal kidney sales would solve the problem. Donors can live on just one kidney. Fry-Revere says the selling process would be tightly regulated.
Sigrid Fry-Revere: The government can decide, you need to have informed consent.
But some bioethicists argues that poor donors would be taken advantage of. Instead, they favor a system called presumed consent. After you die, your organs would be harvested automatically, unless you’d specified otherwise.
But Fry-Revere says we shouldn’t have to give away a valuable body part that will eventually be sold.
Fry-Revere: And then the companies that transform it into useable, medical material, make a killing.
The President’s Council on Bioethics is now studying the ethical issues involved in the organ shortage.
In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.