Based on the following article: Does the author favor a market for kidneys? Why? Describe an...

  1. Based on the following article:
  2. Does the author favor a market for kidneys? Why?
  3. Describe an alternative method to a market distribution that would not involve a market?
  4. Which method, the market method or the alternative method is best? Why?

Title: How much is that kidney in the window?

By Bruce Gottlieb; Adapted from

The New Republic

As of April 30, there were 44,989 people on the waiting list for a kidney

transplant. About 2,300 of them will die this year while waiting. If kidney sales

were permitted, these lives would almost certainly be saved.

There are several familiar arguments against legalizing kidney sales, beginning with the idea that giving up a kidney is too dangerous for the donor. But, popular though this argument is, the statistics don't bear it out-at least relative to other risks people are legally permitted to assume. In terms of the effect on life expectancy, donating one of your two kidneys is more or less equivalent to driving an additional 16 miles to work each day. No one objects to the fact that ordinary jobs-like construction or driving a delivery van-carry roughly similar risks.

Another common objection is that government ought to encourage altruism, not profit seeking. But, from the perspective that matters-the recipient's-this

distinction is irrelevant, so long as the donated kidney works. It's not as if the

point of kidney transplants were to improve the donor's karma. Moreover, kidneys from cadavers function for eight years, on average, whereas those from live donors last 17 years. (The reason is that kidneys can be "harvested" from live donors in circumstances less hectic than death and that donors and recipients can be better matched.)

This brings us to the most powerful objection to the sale of kidneys-that, in practice, it would result in the poor selling parts of their bodies to the rich. But, in today's health care economy, that probably wouldn't be the case. For several decades, Congress has mandated that Medicare pay the medical bills of any patient-of any age-who requires dialysis. Transplant surgery and postsurgical drug treatment are expensive, yes, but they're nothing compared to dialysis, which costs about $40,000 per year. That's a savings of $40,000 per year for the 17 years or so during which a transplanted kidney will function. In other words, insurers and the federal government would probably be happy to buy a kidney for anyone who needs one. They'd even be willing to pay donors considerable sums-$50,000, $100,000, or more

Given the amount of money involved, it seems downright contradictory to argue that the poor should be prevented from taking the deal on the grounds that poverty is unfair. Critics will say that allowing kidney sales is the beginning of a slippery slope toward selling other, more essential organs. This, of course, would be a moral disaster, since it would mean legalizing serious maiming (selling eyes) or even murder (selling hearts or lungs). The prospect of someone going under the knife to earn a down payment on a new house or to pay for college is far from pleasant. But neither is the reality of someone dying because a suitable kidney can't be found. The free market may be the worst way to allocate kidneys. The worst, that is, except for all the other alternatives.

Homework Answers

Answer #1

No author is against the market sales of kidney. As he thinks this will result in the practice of poor selling body parts to the rich , it will become a kind of business which is conducted in market and profit seeking will become the main motive.

2.The other method involves the interference of insurers and government who will act as intermediaries between buyer and seller and will buy it for someone who requires the kidney.

3. The alternative method is better as it involoves government and insurance company who will buy the kidney on basis of requirements. Also, the price paid to the donor will be safeguarded to ensure that he is genuinely paid or may be higher. Also kidney transplant is cheaper as compared to dialysis and this method will help in saving expenses of both insurers and government.

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