Recent debate regarding organ donation has revolved around public policy issues of an “opt-in” versus “opt-out” program for donation. However, there’s a third option that many disregard as unethical or condemn in complete horror: an organ market. Instantly, the mention of an organ market conjures thoughts of organs being harvested against ones will in a commotion similar to a scene in Saw, or, even more tragically, rich transplant recipients paying poor citizens in third world countries a few bucks for a kidney. While unwanted organ harvesting is quite rare (though it does occur), the black market for organs is not. Just recently, a New Jersey man was found guilty of trafficking black market kidneys for as much as $160,000 dollars! Would you be willing to pay this much if you were in need of a transplant? Better yet, would you willingly sell your kidney for this price?
It is questions like these that cause people to question the morality and justice of an organ market. However, before you completely write off the feasibility of a market, take a glance at this excerpt from The Kenan Institute’s “Good Question” Series, which asks the question boggling the morals of many: Should there be a market in human organs? Kieran Healy, a Sociology Professor at Duke. addresses the question by explaining the possible ways in which a lawful organ market can actually function in our society.