Selling Human Organs: The Ethical Issue

Selling body transplants is one of the latest ventures that entrepreneurs have devised. Some see it as servicing a public good, whilst others perceive it as one more example of capitalism at its worst.

Barry Jacobs is an example of an international broker for bodily parts whose business involves matching up kidney "donors" with patients needing kidney transplants. The donor receives a magnanimous paycheck; the recipient receives a healthy kidney, and Jacobs, himself, profits by business in worse ways (Chapman, 1984). Jacobs and other advocates of organ-selling see this business as filling a necessary void. Approximately, 100,000 organ transplants are needed per annum, and only an annual 10,000 are performed due to the deficiency of matching organs. Biomedical breakthroughs have increased the success of these operations, but the procedures cannot always be accomplished due to depletion of stocks. People are simply not willing to...
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