Los Angeles (March 18, 2008) – Today, over 74,000 people are on the United Network for Organ Sharing’s national waiting list, hoping they’ll get the new kidneys they need. In 2007, over 4,300 people on that list died waiting.
With that list getting longer every day, a new Reason.tv Drew Carey video looks at how we can help increase the number of organ donors before it’s too late. One possible solution: allow healthy adults to voluntarily sell their organs.
“There’s one thing we can’t try because it’s illegal,” Drew Carey says on the Reason.tv video. “Stay with me…paying people to donate their kidneys. I know – it sounds really ghoulish. It sounds really icky. But they’re your kidneys. And it really helps people in need. So if you want to sell one, why not?”
Former Reason magazine editor Virginia Postrel, who donated a kidney to friend Sally Satel, says we should “repeal the federal law that makes it a crime to sell organs.”
Postrel, author of the book The Future and Its Enemies, notes everyone in the organ-donation process – hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, etc – is paid, except the donors.
Critics say the poor would be exploited if organs could be bought and sold. “Years ago we heard the same arguments about egg and sperm donation and in vitro fertilization,” states Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason.tv. “Yet, reproductive technology has helped hundreds of thousands of families without exploiting the poor. An organ market would eliminate today’s kidney shortage and give someone who needs a new kidney plenty of options. They would be able to shop and choose the healthiest, best possible match for them. That’s a tremendous and positive change from today’s organ crisis, where many people in need of new kidneys don’t get them in time.”
Full Video Online
The Reason.tv Drew Carey video, Organ Transplants: Kidneys for Sale, is online at reason.tv/video/show/333.html.
Previous Drew Carey Reason.tv videos include:
Living Large: America’s Middle Class (reason.tv/video/show/61.html);
Texas Close ‘Em: Cops Raid Poker Games (reason.tv/video/show/172.html);
and Medical Marijuana (reason.tv/video/show/57.html).
Reason.tv is an online community showcasing the best libertarian ideas and videos on the Internet. Reason.tv gives you the opportunity to create videos, share videos and suggest topics for Drew Carey’s upcoming documentaries. For more information, please visit www.reason.tv.
About Reason Foundation
Reason Foundation is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to advancing free minds and free markets. Reason Foundation produces respected public policy research on a variety of issues and publishes the critically acclaimed monthly magazine, Reason, and its website www.reason.com. For more information, please visit www.reason.org.
Chris Mitchell, Director of Communications, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109