Flesh Trade: Why not let people sell their organs?
We already pay healthy people to risk their health in safety trials of new drugs (Freakonomics, Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, July 9). The risks in these trials can be harder to control than the risks in well-studied transplant procedures. We also pay people to risk their health in other contexts — for example, in the military. Most soldiers aren’t millionaires, and financial incentives do play a part. Like soldiers, organ donors may serve for a mix of altruistic and pragmatic reasons. Why let the soldiers be paid but not the donors? And as for the argument that letting the rich buy the poor’s organs is repugnant: what is repugnant is letting people become so poor that they must sell their organs to get by.