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?