Buttle's World

14 July, 2009

Fixing the Kidney Shortage

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 13:10

Virginia Postrel has an excellent article at The Atlantic on what it would take to reduce the frightening backlog of people waiting for new kidneys: money. No, not increased government spending. In fact, it would be less. This is a good reminder of why money was invented in the first place: Barter doesn’t work very well.

You might think that such a superior treatment would be standard. But kidneys are hard to come by. In the United States, more than 80,000 people are on the official waiting list, all hoping that someone will die in just the right circumstances and bequeath them the “gift of life.” Last year, only 16,517 got transplants: 10,550 with the cadaver organs allocated through the list, and 5,967 from living donors. More than 4,000 on the list, or about 11 a day, died. And the list gets longer every year.

There should be no stigma associated with accepting money for donating a kidney.

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