Sunday, August 28, 2016

Legal Markets in Kidneys

Q: What bastion of free market liberalism has virtually eliminated the waiting list for kidneys and dramatically reduced deaths due to kidney failure?
A: Iran



  2. I applaud Iran for taking the critical steps for creating a system that legalizes the sale and buying of kidneys in its country Iran’s system not only helped eliminate the waiting list for kidneys and dramatically reduced deaths due to kidney failure, it also provide financial support to donors with financial needs in its country. Approximately $1,200 plus limited health insurance coverage, is provided by the Iranian government based on a fixed compensation for a period of one year for conditions deemed related to the kidney surgery. Separate compensation, if the recipient is impoverished, is usually between $2,300 and $4,500 (Dubner, 2008)

    Based on a 2015 report, the average annual income of an Iranian family is approximately $470.00USD per month (Daneshpajooh, 2015). Moreover, the average compensation a donor may receive from the sale of a kidney is between 2.5 months to 9.5 a month’s salary. Consequently, a donor may likely feel that selling their kidney is financially worth it.

    From a global perspective, there are some ethicists worry about taking advantage of the poor, however, in the United States the practice of fertility clinics is supported by the health insurance system allowing even those without the funds the opportunity for men to sell their seaman or for women to sell their eggs to fertility clinics. How is that any different from someone selling their kidney? In the end, I believe that people should be determine the value of something they are buying or selling.

    Daneshpajooh, H. (2015, January 8). What is the average salary in Iran? Retrieved from
    Dubner, S. J. (2008, April 29). Human Organs for Sale, Legally, in … Which Country? Retrieved from

  3.  Dealing with cancer and having chemo, l realize how short life is. When you are sick all you want to do is be better. We do have two kidneys and can live with one! So why not offer your kidney, to someone in need. I personally do not think it's ethical to charge someone, especially if they are dying. The Christian side of me would want to help. I would feel guilty knowing, I made someone pay. Unless of course the insurance company reimburses me- I am all for that. 
    I do think that legalizing kidney donation in the US could save the insurances companies money on medication and dialysis. 
    People adopt children because they can't have their own. So why not adopt a kidney? I do feel it would be beneficial to educate people on donating their organs when they die. If more people did this more lives could be saved. 
    I would not donate my kidneys- I do not like being cut open. I would worry I would end up needing it. 

  4. The topic of kidney sale restrictions is one that I have found myself very interested in. It’s amazing to me that a country that many would not think of as advanced could virtually eliminate kidney failure related deaths.
    The ethical dilemma in this economic issue of to sell kidneys or not, lies in the value of the kidney. How do you put a price on life? Essentially value is the amount one is willing to pay for it. Who’s to stop those with wealth from outbidding those without it on a heathy kidney?
    Kerstein (2014) noted that it would be highly probable that in a regulated market around the globe kidneys would find their ways from poor countries to wealthy countries. However this transaction could also be one that helps the seller as well. It could mean the difference between keeping their home, feeding their children, or getting an education.
    Currently with price controls the price of a kidney is set to zero. If a kidney was given a higher price control his might prevent the flow of healthy kidneys going solely to the wealthiest of countries.
    Another great question to ask would be “is this something that could be or should be taxed?”.

    Kerstein, S. J. (2014). Are Kidney Markets Morally Permissible If Vendors Do Not Benefit?. American Journal Of Bioethics, 14(10), 29-30. doi:10.1080/15265161.2014.947798

  5. My first reaction of a human being selling their kidney was appalling. Yet, as I thought about it my next question was why is it that I think it is courageous if someone donates their kidney. In an economic stand point it makes perfect sense for a person to sell their kidney, if they so choose to. Wealth is created when assets are moved from a lower to a higher valued user. For example, I buy something because I feel that the cost is below the value I think it is worth. The seller in return sells it to me for they think it is above the value they think the item is worth (Froeb, McCann, Shor, & Ward, 2016).

    Unfortunately in the U.S. it is illegal to sell your kidney or organs. When governments outlaw something that creates wealth it sets up opportunities for black markets to flourish. For example, Cuban cigars are outlawed in the U.S. and yet citizens can still buy them through the black market.

    According to the National Kidney Foundation 100,791 people are awaiting kidney transplants 3,000 more are added each month. The tragic part is that 13 patients die each day waiting for a kidney transplant. If I had the means and could go to Iran or the black market to receive a kidney to live would I go, of course? By the government legalizing the selling of one’s kidney they can control it. This will ensure that the donor is properly cared for and compensated. For example and interesting article stated that experts say the compensation should be around $50,000 to the donor (Berger, 2011). The donor can then use this money for a down payment on a house or invest it, thus creating wealth.

    Berger, A. (2011, December 05). Why Selling Kidneys Should Be Legal. Retrieved January 18, 2017, from

    Froeb, L. M., McCann, B. T., Shor, M., & Ward, M. R. (2016). Managerial economics: A problem solving approach. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

    Organ Donation and Transplantation Statistics. (2016, January 11). Retrieved from