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Univ. of Kentucky College of Law

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Organ Selling

My colleague David Raeker-Jordan pointed me to this very interesting story on organ selling that the Christian Science Monitor ran in June 2004.  From the introduction:

Every day, 17 Americans die of organ failure. In Israel, the average wait for a kidney transplant is four years. In response, a global gray market has bloomed. In India, for example, poor sellers are quickly matched with sick buyers from Taiwan. Critics call it "transplant tourism." Proponents say the market is meeting a need.

The Monitor follows three men: an unemployed Brazilian and an ailing Israeli, as well as a South African investigator who helped bust an organ-trafficking ring.

The case raises anew hard legal and ethical questions, such as: Who owns our bodies? Should it be illegal to sell an organ if it could save someone's life? What is the government's role in protecting two vulnerable groups - the poor, who are willingly exploited, and the sick, who are desperate for healing?

Ben Barros

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