Now it seems that the offering of options to people is now morally questionable, and perhaps even exploited:
“This means that even if you have no possessions to sell and cannot find a job, nobody can reasonably criticise you for, say, failing to sell a kidney to pay your rent. If a free market in organs was permitted and became widespread, then it is reasonable to assume that your organs would soon enough become economic resources like any other, in the context of the market. Selling your organs would become something that is simply expected of you as and when financial need arises. …
We should ask questions such as the following: Would those in poverty be eligible for bankruptcy protection, or for public assistance, if they have an organ that they choose not to sell? Could they be legally forced to sell an organ to pay taxes, paternity bills or rent? How would society view someone who asks for charitable assistance to meet her basic needs, if she could easily sell a healthy ‘excess’ organ to meet them? … Wherever there is great value in not being put under social or legal pressure to sell something as a result of economic forces, we should think carefully about whether it is right to permit a market and to thereby impose the option on everyone to sell it
The author is indeed right to ask those questions, and the very government folks wish to use to prevent organ sales (successfully today?) ought to be “powerful” enough to make sure bankruptcy courts, for example, don’t consider organs liquid assets.
But let’s not argue about kidneys, or forcing the poor to sell them, today. We addressed this in part way back in the day. Instead, focus on the implications, again, of this philosophy when placed in conjunction with others.
I simply don’t understand how these and so many other views can be held at the same time. But that’s because I used to expect folks used reason and logic to form their ideas. But I am wrong. We are mystics, plain and simple. We’re a bit more sophisticated than the mystics of the past, but mystics nonetheless.
By the way, if we had a truly free market in organs, you might expect that the price of the actual kidney itself (I recall a Becker paper putting it at $15,000) to fall so much that selling it really isn’t on the high priority list, even for the most cash strapped among us. But ignore that too, it’s too easy to conjure up images of people being held down by debt collectors only to have their kidneys forcefully ripped out and sold on eBay.