Why Not Legalize Kidney Selling?

by Patrick Appel

Mark Kleiman responds to Postrel's excellent article on kidney donation:

Postrel argues - convincingly to me - for a repeal of the law against cash payments to organ donors. Since transplant is actually cheaper than dialysis, and since dialysis is a federal entitlement, there's no need to make the recipient pay, and therefore no issue about rich people crowding to the head of the line. But that's the next step. The first step is to expand the utilization of the Kidney Registry; a little bit of money spent on publicity might go a long way. Surely Postrel is right that the issue suffers from an unjustifiable lack of urgency. Ten peoplea a day are dying unnecessarily. For some reason, people who get outraged about the ethical problems surrounding paid donation don't seem to regard those needless deaths as an ethical issue calling for urgent action.