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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Human Organs For Sale! What Could Go Wrong?

This has "Bad Idea" written all over it...wait, scratch that. It screams "Terribly horrible idea!" over a football stadium PA system, simultaneously aired across the entire Emergency Broadcast System.

From The Daily Mail:
Leading surgeons have called on the Government to consider legalising the sale of human organs for transplants.

People can currently donate organs such as a kidney while still alive but cannot make money from them. They also can't decide who the organs go to.

Many doctors, such as Professor Nadey Hakim, think this policy should be urgently reconsidered.

Professor Hakim, a Harley Street surgeon, believes a regulated market would stop desperate sick people from travelling abroad to buy organs on the black market.

He said this 'transplant tourism' can lead to botched operations and patients often require further surgery when they return to the UK.

More than 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant. Of these, 1000 each year - the equivalent of three a day - will die waiting as there are not enough organs available.

Professor John Harris, of Manchester University, supports a debate of the issue and has developed proposals for an 'ethical market.'

Under his plan, the NHS would be the sole supplier of organs. Consent would be required and checks would be made to make sure the donor wasn't under any pressure.

Sure, what could possibly go wrong with a plan like this? Who's going to miss a few homeless people, or maybe that neglected guy in the mental institution? And with the government in charge, why, it's bound to be run on the up and up, right? What's to prevent the government from obtaining organs from the very black market they'd be attempting to undercut?

In my opinion, I think the surgeons are a bit peeved that folks are going overseas to get the transplant, cutting them out of some profit. But that's just my cynical side showing.

Unfortunately, this slippery slope is already being traversed, as for years now, women have been donating their eggs, in order to drum up some cash. That's just a step or two from selling a kidney here or there - maybe even a heart or lung from a, shall we say, "motivated seller" (ie - criminal, vagabond, undesirable). Who in their right mind would complain? After all, a person's life would be saved, right? Those pesky Catholics and ethically-minded folks only want to see the right sort of people be unhappy and die needlessly.

Sad to say, organ selling has been going on for awhile. For instance, from all observable evidence, the following folks sold their brains years ago: