Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wouldn't a market be much simpler?

Anyone who reads this blog knows that there are more than 60,000 patients who want a kidney; and less than 20,000 donors (cadaver and live). Attempts to create individual "matching" markets are extremely cumbersome, and fraught with problems of trust and verification:

US doctors have carried out what is believed to be the world's first simultaneous six-way kidney transplant.

Six recipients received organs from six donors in operations at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland.

The procedure was made possible after an altruistic donor - neither a friend nor relative of any of the six patients - was found to match one of them.

Five patients had a willing donor whose kidney was incompatible with theirs, but it did match another in the group.

This meant that suddenly, there were six people who could receive an organ.

The operations were carried out simultaneously to make sure no-one backed out after their loved one had received a kidney.

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