Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ending the black market for human organs

Jeff Stier of the American Council on Science and Health has an excellent piece in the New York Post on August 6th. He points out that the shortage of human organs for transplant operations has led to a macabre black market, and argues that a regulated system of incentives for donors would save lives and reduce the shortage that promotes the black market.

One of the incentives he mentions is Alex Tabarrok's "no give, no take" rule. LifeSharers is a variation of this idea. Alex Tabarrok is an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University, Research Director at The Independent Institute, co-author of the Marginal Revolution blog, and an advisor to LifeSharers.

Mr. Stier also writes: "Unless you're lucky enough to have a relative or some other highly motivated and altruistic donor, there is no legal way to improve your chances in the painfully slow race against death." This was true before LifeSharers came along, but it isn't any more. By joining LifeSharers you get preferred access to the organs of other members, so you improve your chances of getting a transplant should you ever need one.

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