In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer today about a new study on selling organs, George J Annas, a professor of health law, bioethics, and human rights who opposes compensation, had this to say about whether donors should be allowed to be compensated:

“I think it is out of bounds,” Annas said. “We know we can live with the system we have now. We have no idea about what another system would do.”

A few paragraphs earlier came these statistics:

Last year, 6,453 people in the United States died waiting for an organ. Nearly 92 percent of them died waiting for organs that living donors could have supplied – 4,456 needed a new kidney and 1,452 a liver.

I think Dr. Annas needs to modify his statement: some of us can live with the system we have now, but last year 6,453 could not.

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