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What's Wrong With Selling Kidneys?

Armen Hareyan's picture

Selling Kidneys

Doctors in this week's BMJ debate the issue of selling kidneys.

A personal view article, published earlier this month, asked what's wrong with a market in body parts?

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Sue Rabbitt Roff of Dundee University Medical School argued that we already permit the sale of body parts and fluids, and we have also already determined "tariffs" for the value of certain body parts in compensation models for workers' accidents, criminal injury, or injury incurred during military service.

If we are not shy about reaching these values, why do we shrink from constructing a regulated exchange system for body parts that would undercut the existing illegal trade, which is so hazardous for the vendors, she asks?

The recommended value of a kidney is $40,000 (