Kidneys and the Marketplace

The Los Angeles Times has two brief commentaries on the ethics of using market mechanisms to increase the supply of kidneys available for transplantation. ¬†Francis Delmonico argues that developing a market for human kidneys will exploit impoverished individuals, increase “medical transplant tourism”, and likely increase the number of patients returning home with hepatitis, tuberculosis, and other diseases after commercial transplantation abroad. ¬†In contrast, transplant nephrologist Benjamin Hippen argues that a regulated market in the U.S. will increase the supply of kidneys available for transplantation in the U.S. and reduce the number of Americans going abroad for commercial kidney transplants.

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