Philadelphia Inquirer | Christine Flowers
Recently, NPR (yes-I listened) had an interesting segment on organ donation, and whether it was now time to start paying people for their spare parts. Aside from the logistics of the operation, matching organ to person like a set of Garanimals clothing items, there are some overriding ethical considerations.
Ethics? I know. In a world where women can rent someone else’s womb and gender can be changed with the snip of a scissors, ethics might seem to be a quaint and outdated notion, especially when it smacks into free-market capitalism and the libertarian ideal of “if it’s in or on my body, I get to do what I want with it.”
But it’s important to look at what kind of world we will enter if we start putting price tags on kidneys.
We start with the unfortunate reality that there are far too many people in need of a transplant, and far too few organs available. While most people support voluntary organ donation and register as organ donors when they get their driver’s licenses, the demand exceeds the supply to such an extent that there are people who’ve spent half of their lives on waiting lists.
But if, as the NPR segment suggested, we permit people to be compensated for their organs, we change the playing field for both the sick and the healthy in ways that may completely obliterate the guiding principle enshrined in the Hippocratic Oath: Do No Harm.
Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/flowersshow/156412605.html#ixzz1wajM3CnM
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