Moral Quandaries that Aren't

Roy Edroso unctuously asks for someone to defend the Brooklyn chap who was just arrested for selling organs.  I'd rather see him justify not paying for kidneys, when this is the result of the shortage.  Justify driving organ sales to the black market, where the brokers get rich, the sellers get a pittance, and only the rich can afford them, rather than taking the money we currently spend on dialysis to compensate those who are willing to help provide the gift of a dialysis-free life to others.  Bonus question:  explain why we should prevent people from voluntarily donating a kidney when living kidney donors do not appear to have an elevated risk of kidney failure without resorting to any of the following

  1. Huffy declarations that anyone who disagrees with you must be amoral
  2. Appeals to the fact that many other people are also against organ donation
  3. Invoking the infamous "ick" factor involved in selling a body part

  • Extra credit:  do all of the above, to someone on longterm dialysis who is legally prevented from buying an organ, or having the government buy one for her.

  • Double extra credit:  prove that we don't need no stinkin' market by voluntarily donating your own kidney for the sheer joy of helping others.

  • As for the chap in Brooklyn:  he broke the law.  I'm against that, even if the law is stupid, which is why I dutifully sign for my sudafed, instead of breaking into the pharmacy after hours.  On the other hand, the law seems grotesque to me, possibly near the level where one has a duty to break it.  On the third hand, he's clearly not acting out of any sense of moral duty.  But I'm not going to celebrate the fact of one less live kidney donation in the world, even if the person who gets stuck on the machine is affluent and thus presumptively deserves it.