“The Terrible Toll of the Kidney Shortage”

“Many Americans die every year because they need kidney transplants, in large part due to federal laws banning organ sales. …an average of over 30,000 Americans have died each year, because the ban prevented them from getting transplants in time.” [Ilya Somin; Frank McCormick, Philip J. Held, and Glenn M. Chertow, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology] More: Michael Huemer (“I don’t know what ‘commodification’ is or why anyone should care about it. But it would have to be incredibly terrible to justify imposing death on people to prevent them from doing it.”); Emily Largent, Petrie-Flom “Bill of Health” (“unmet need for hearts, lungs, livers, and other vital organs” is also dire; “real-world test of regulated payments is needed”); Ike Brannon, Cato Regulation magazine (unneeded multivisceral transplants).


  • Back in the Cold War, the KGB and other progressives whispered that Americans were kidnaping Third World children to butcher them for transplant parts– sometimes with deadly results for random American visitors.


    I am doubtful whether we want to get too far ahead of the international consensus on this issue. The Chinese are unlikely to make such accusations (“People who live in glass houses…”), but Islamists and extreme Leftists might have fewer scruples.

    I hope for technology to generate replacement organs in laboratories. The Chinese may end up as pioneers in this field, since they have fewer religious fanatics and fewer Luddites.

  • Hugo, your comments tell us more about you than about people in other countries. The two countries I’m familiar with that have compensation for kidneys are those centers of atheism, Iran and the Philippines. They both do large numbers of kidney transplant operations for foreigners.