What is Your Body Worth?

I have long been intrigued and perplexed by the ethical question of organ trading.

In America buying and selling an organ or tissue from another person is illegal—but we know it’s done. Cadaver bone is bought and sold, cleansed, sliced and diced and machined for orthopedic implants. Steve Jobs of Apple received a liver transplant at a private hospital in Tennessee. Was it donated? We’ll never know. Blood is bought and sold daily.

The argument against a legitimate organ market is that rich people will take advantage of poor people because the prime organs will be sold to the high bidder. This do-gooder egalitarian thesis is elitist claptrap. I think a person should have the rights to his own body—philosophically and tangibly. If somebody chooses to donate a kidney, I love them for their generosity. But if a girl wants to sell her eggs to an infertile couple to pay for college or just survive grinding poverty, who am I to say this is unethical?

If a destitute man in India or Peru or Denver wants to sell a kidney, blood, stem cells, or bone marrow to an organ bank or God forbid, a used organ and tissue dealer, why should a rich person in Washington decree that he cannot or should not?

In a culture that butchers thousands of cows everyday to supply McDonald’s and sells every fiber and sinew for profit without consulting the animals, we refuse to allow human animals the choice of trading tissue for money. To me this feels like the elitist, do-gooder mentality trumping the legitimate practicality of a functioning market for the buying and selling of the components of life.

Question: Should you be able to sell your body parts?

Indian men who have sold a kidney show their scars. Photo courtesy of NewsPick

Share this post

6 thoughts on “What is Your Body Worth?

  1. Jo

    If you have the money why not. When you don’t have the money you have to wait for ever, and then depending on your blood type wait longer. This is what my brother is going through right now. He is AB + and waiting on a Heart transplant, since he has this type blood it’s a longer wait.
    So if you can afford it why not!

  2. BR-549

    If this were made legal, how would you stop from being kidnapped, knocked out, relieved of all of your useful parts and then your dead corpse being tossed into the local river? It seems that once something is out there, the worst of the world always finds a way to use it first and make money at it.

    Being able to sell your items at your price when you are ready seems fair.

  3. David Blackburn

    The complications involved with surgery is too high; Drug interactions, MRSA, Staph and all the other mutated bugs out there. Why take the unnecessary risk? Also, I belive that our bodies are on loan to us from God, they’re not ours for sell. We are suppose to take care of our bodies the best way that we can. Selling pieces of our bodies for money is just wrong. It will also lead to the game of: “Who ever has the most money and power, recieves the best health care, and eventually, the only health care!”

  4. matt

    then should you be able to become a prostitute?? same concept…..I vote yes…plus give them something else to tax, maybe they would leave us alone…. probably OSHA would want to spend more time in a brothel, than a machine shop…


Comments are closed.