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Should the government allow people to sell their own organs?

Over 110,000 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant. This number grows by 300 individuals every month, and at the same time, 19 people die each day for lack of a viable organ. Economists have proposed that assiging a price to organs would alleviate, if not completely eliminate, the organ waiting list.

However, some have argued that such a system would have more negatives than benefits. Organ transplants only extend most individuals' lives by less than 10 years, and organ donors show deteriorated health after the procedure. Many worry about the ethical repurcussions of treating one's body as a product to sell, along with the potential exploitation of the poor and a market or organs that can't be regulated.

What do you think? Is it more important to save lives or protect the dignity of the human body? Would the poor be exploited? Would the transplant list become a thing of the past? Would such a system take the altruism out of organ donation? Would the ethical burden of an organ market overshadow its potential benefits?

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    May 2 2011: If there was an organ trade then people could sell organs post-mortem. That should cover burial expenses.
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    Apr 30 2011: I feel this dilemma will evaporate soon with advancement of stem cell, bio-tech research & solutions. We had a number of talks here rgarding the progress of developing organs outside body and then grafting the same , so far I can remember at least 2 nice talks from Anthony Atala please check the link

    Until then before legalizing we need to be careful how we can check the organ trade , making poor innocent people to be prey of someone who can just afford the short-term monetary cost.
    You may say are not organ trading happening now illegaly ?
    Yes it is, but my concern is about the ruthless scaling up through victimizing people once we legalize it .
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    Apr 30 2011: Yes, people should be able to sell their own organs if they so choose, as long as selling those organs is not going to cause health problems for the seller that are left to the system to fix. hey always ask me to give them away for free, why not turn a profit. If one can find a doctor willing to harvest and a patient to agree to the price then there should be no regulation stopping it. Other then the obvious, such as the health and vitality of the seller, taking care not to spread disease through organ transplant. Of course the rich would take advantage, the people in dire financial circumstances would be the main sellers. I'm sure there would be a few that did it just for to help another, but those would be far less then the one motivated by money. Also as a quick side note, the blood from the deceased should be used instead of poured down the drain. this would practically eliminate the need for blood drives.
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    Apr 30 2011: I would suggest you 'Transplant cells, not organs' by Susan Lim. (
    And I hope we can treat patients without ethical worries.