Yale Medical Professor Proposes that Kidney Sales be Legalized

by Don Boudreaux on February 19, 2006

in Health

Amy Friedman, Associate Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, proposes that the sale of human kidneys be legalized.  (Dr. Friedman’s article appears in the journal Kidney International; I learned of her proposal from this NPR interview.)

Professional ethicists and behavioral economists, I’m sure, stand ready to offer 1,001 reasons why people cannot be trusted to choose to be donors and why, if they are allowed to so choose, the result will be catastrophic re-distribution of kidneys from poor to rich, exploitation of poor by rich, and our civil society darkened by a mushroom cloud of crass commercialism.

For reasons I lay out in my article proposing legalizing the sale of parental rights in infant babies — a proposal identical in most relevant respects to that of the proposal to legalize the sale of transplantable body organs — I doubt that these horrors will emerge.


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