Thursday, February 20, 2014

Should "The opportunities for an abuse" Stand in the Way of Legal Compensatory Organ Transplantation?

In response to my comments under the article N.J. mother and daughter donate kidneys to perfect strangers, ask 'why not?' advocating the legalization of compensatory organ donation (see yesterday's post), a correspondent replied:

"The opportunities for an abuse of any system that contains a cash profit motivator are huge."

When I responded . . .

I have no idea what you mean by "abuse" or "huge." But to deny all individuals their inalienable rights because of the "potential" wrong-doing of the few is morally inverted.

, . . . he elaborated:

    "Imagine thinking you are donating your kidney only to find a "placement firm" got the cash commission. Imagine not wishing to donate a kidney, but yours is "recovered" as an asset to repay your creditors during your bankruptcy. Imagine your kid is abducted for parts. Imagine YOU sell your kids kidneys to pay for their college education (or your drug habit). Imagine prisoners in American prisons are "incentivized" to sell their kidney, now imagine those are political prisoners (China is rumored to do this today). Selling kidneys becomes a "charity" for the rich and a "necessity" for the poor. Why spend more for a Kidney when you can buy one soo cheaply from a Mexican street orphan... who was abducted for his kidney, because it has a price now.
    Got any idea about "abuse" or "huge" yet?
    Putting a price on a kidney is one small step from putting a price on life. And anyone who feels your parts are worth more than you may be incentivized to... shall we say... make a profit."

I left these comments:

This is precisely why you need government and law; to identify, define, forbid, and prosecute rights-violating actions—e.g.; the exploitation of minors, the mentally incompetent, or political prisoners, as well as fraud, extortion, and other crimes. It is also why insurers, government programs like Medicare, doctors, and hospitals are incentivized to institute their own screening processes and moral standards before they pay for or perform the procedures. The potential for abuse is very small, in my view, considering the myriad safeguards that could potentially be employed.

So what if a "placement firm" or some other third party like the "New Jersey Sharing Network" steps in to facilitate the transaction. If they do, they're entitled to profit for their efforts (or do so on a non-profit basis).
And when you say "Putting a price on a kidney is one small step from putting a price on life," I have no idea what the hell you're talking about. Thousands of people are suffering and dieing for want of donors that never come forward. To say these people are forbidden to pay 1 cent or more to incentivize and compensate a potential donor is to say their lives aren't worth 1 cent.

And how does a "rich" guy paying his donor for his trouble, or his donor profiting for his generosity, hurt the "poor" guy who can't afford it? People have a right to spend their earned wealth as they please. And what if the donor is poor and can use the money? What right does anyone have to forbid him from giving a kidney in exchange for compensation?

The profit motive is noble. It is the motive to provide a value to others in exchange for a value in return. Money as a medium of exchange is noble. I repeat: To deny all individuals their inalienable rights because of the "potential" wrong-doing of the few is morally inverted.

Related Reading:

On Capitalism's "Conflict of Interest"
The American Right, the Purpose of Government, and the Future of Liberty—Craig Biddle

1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

In short, there's the opportunity for, or actuality of, in a word, crime, in all human relations. There's quite a list of other words that can be used instead of the word crime, but they all mean the same thing. Ultimately, it's THE excuse for total statism.