The U.S. government is killing people. But this isn’t in reference to drone
bombings in foreign countries.
This is in reference to sick people in the United States. You could call this a war on cancer
The Health and Human Services (HHS) is trying to make it a
criminal act to compensate bone marrow donors with a modest gift. One nonprofit California organization
wants to offer a scholarship, housing allowance, or a gift to charity in the
amount of $3,000.
The problem here is the National Organ Transplant Act, which
bans the trafficking of human organs.
In other words, you aren’t allowed to sell a kidney to someone. It is basically done through donations
and waiting lists.
Bone marrow donations are far less invasive though. With medical technology advancing, it
is a rather low risk procedure and the marrow will actually replenish itself in
the human body over a period of several weeks.
With about 20,000 Americans each year who could use a bone
marrow transplant, there is a shortage of donors. It would make sense to offer money or rewards to donors to
increase the supply. And $3,000 is
a rather cheap price when you compare the cost of just a one-night stay in the
Unfortunately, too many people accept the fallacy that it is
wrong to have a profit motive when dealing with something as sensitive as human
organs. This causes a lot of
needless death and suffering.
Why can’t someone sell his or her own liver or kidney? Do they not own their own body? Or does the government own their
body? Maybe it doesn’t seem right
that someone would profit off of a sick person, but isn’t that what doctors do
all the time?
I don’t think we would see a situation where just anyone
would be selling an organ for a few extra bucks. It would be a big decision for most. But there might be people in desperate
situations who really do need money more than a working organ. Why not allow them to enter into a
voluntary transaction and help save someone else’s life?
One thing many people fear is that only rich people would be
saved. They don’t think that is
morally right. You have to
allocate resources in some way. In
a free market system, it would be allocated by price. In the current system, it is allocated by waiting.
In the current system, there is no pricing system. As with any good or service in the
market, this leads to distortions.
In this case, it leads to major shortages. This means many people are dying because they can’t get
replacement organs. There is a
lack of supply.
Some people think you can’t apply economics to life and
death situations. I would argue
that it is more crucial than ever to apply economics when it is a life and
death situation. People are
needlessly dying because of the current laws.
If people were allowed to voluntarily give up an organ for
money, then prices would likely come down quite quickly. And there would no longer be severe
Maybe the rich people would get taken care of first, but
that usually happens anyway. There
is still medical insurance. There
are still charity organizations.
If a poor guy needs to scrounge up $30,000 for a new kidney, he will
probably find a way if it is a matter of life and death. The government has no qualms about
putting someone into $200,000 of student loan debt, so I don’t know why someone
couldn’t take out a loan to save his own life.
In the case of bone marrow, I’m sure most patients would be
more than happy to pay $3,000 to get what they need. But in this case, it isn’t even the patient paying for
it. This just shows the absurdity
of the law and also how most laws end up going much further than what was ever
conceived when passed.
In conclusion, organ socialism does not allow for a price
system, which leads to massive shortages.
This kills people. The
people who don’t like profits are responsible for this. It is those who support the free market
and voluntary transactions who are really the compassionate ones.