CEI on the Organ Market


From the list Jordi provided to us on think tanks, I clicked on the link to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, which allowed me to search the topic of my choice. Since I am interested in the ethics of a potential US organ market, I typed in “organ market,” and came across an article from a think tank source called the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). CEI is a “non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty.” They fight for a lot of issues at the state, national and international levels. The organization addresses many issues, including energy, environment, business and finance, technology, telecommunications, and food and drug regulation.

My search led me to this article by Jennifer Monti published in 2009 by CEI. She asserts that the issue over an organ market stems from a lack of supply of organ donors. The donor system, Monti says, is unreliable because there are no consistent sources of potential donors. In 2009, she says, “approximately 73,000 people sit on the waiting list for a kidney—18 of them will die by tomorrow and 6,000 more patients join the list every year.” This clearly describes an issue that needs attention. The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (NOTA) directly prohibits the sale of organs in the US, making new regulation necessary for any potential legal organ market. In the article, Monti is pro-organ market. She claims it will save lives, be safer, and make organ transplantation more efficient. I am not sure yet where I will stand on this issue after thorough research but as of now I agree with Monti.

Some recent examples of a successful organ market exist in Iran and Singapore. They can teach us a lot about how the US can form its own organ market. It seems that an organ market would be a win-win for both donors and recipients.

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6 responses to “CEI on the Organ Market

  1. I think this organ market idea is a really cool and unique topic for your white paper. It is definitely something I had never heard of. Learning about how to create and regulate a market for this sort of “product” would be really interesting.
    Jordi I understand your amusement with us looking to Iran for good policy but maybe they know a thing or two about markets for unconventional products (other than oil)

  2. This is a pretty crazy blog post, and the numbers are pretty staggering. This is certainly a very unique topic in terms of some of the other subjects discussed thus far, and it certainly could be interesting. Looking into the Transplant act and the possibility of a new act to supplant should provide a good deal of content for your white paper.

  3. I can’t say I have ever given much thought to the idea of an organ market, but it definitely seems like something worth looking into considering the astounding number of lives it could save. This seems like a great paper topic- I am looking forward to learning more!

  4. While it is unfortunate that a number of lives are lost waiting for organ donors and transplants, isn’t this type of market illegal/unsafe? I think it is interesting but feel like that type of a “market” could be dangerous.

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