Virginia Postrel has a terrific piece on organ donation in our pages. Long story short: don't count on cadaver organs, because there aren't enough of them, and organs from living donors last longer. We need quasi-market mechanisms to attract more living donors.
Postrel deals with "donor chains" in which people who want to give a
kidney, but are incompatible with their target, form chains with other
incompatible donors to get everyone what they want. Then she moves
onto markets, which are very controversial. I confess, I don't
understand the ban on paying for organs. We let eighteen year olds
decide to go to Iraq in order to eventually pay for college, but we
won't let a thirty-five year old sell off a part of himself that he
probably won't need, and with which he could save a life?
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