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An economic study: should we sell human organs?

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The debate over whether or not to allow the sale of human organs is compelling enough to warrant discussion. A literature review revealed much ethical discussion, but little discussion was found on economic outcomes related to donors and selling human organs. It was demonstrated in the literature how an increased organ supply will benefit recipients. If allowing the sale of organs is the way to increase the organ supply for the benefit of recipients, then, in order to demonstrate that donors will not be exploited, it must be demonstrated how, and if, such sales would benefit those donors. This study explores whether or not one should sell human organs. Using basic models, this study develops economic scenarios and outcomes related to the selling of human organs with particular focus on pricing and profitability in relation to donor benefit. Theoretical outcomes show that the donor will not benefit in the long run.
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Keywords: Body systems and organs; Medical ethics; Selling; Supply and demand

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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