Why Not Sell?

Alex Tabarrok, in reference to encouraging people to become organ donors:

I am not in favor of messing with the insurance system for this purpose but have argued for a more direct approach. Under what I call a “no-give, no-take” rule if you are not willing to sign your organ donor card you go to the bottom of the list should you one day need an organ. Israel recently introduced a version of no-give, no take which gives those who previously signed their organ donor cards points pushing them up the list should they need an organ transplant–as a result, tens of thousands of people rushed to sign their organ donor cards.

This doesn’t strike me as a difficult issue to solve. Open the market up, and allow people to buy and sell their organs. I realize that this sounds crude, and possibly exploitative to some. But if this increases the number of organ donations, and consequently the number of lives saved, wouldn’t it be worth it? Or must we insist on moral posturing at the expense of human life?

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