Playing Into the Hands of the Promarket Campaigners

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2014; 14(10): 39-40

Miran Epstein

Opponents of organ commercialism of any kind typically maintain that a regulated market in kidneys is bound to be technically unfeasible, economically counterproductive, detrimental to altruistic organ donation, coercive and exploitative of the poor, and, perhaps most importantly, harmful both to the clinical interests of recipients and vendors and—as Julian Koplin (2014) eloquently shows—to the financial interests of the latter (Capron and Danovitch 2014).

Whether valid or not, these arguments have so far been politically effective. They may have convinced policymakers that the noncommercial routes deserve another chance. But even if they did nothing of the kind, these arguments have certainly provided ideological ammunition to policymakers who currently realize that the noncommercial routes have not been exhausted, that, even if they were not to be exhausted, they could, with a relatively modest investment, reduce the waiting lists, and that replacing them at this time with a regulated market would incur financial and political costs too high to bear, even if this market were to completely eliminate the waiting lists. 

Read the full article here at The American Journal of Bioethics (subscription required).

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