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Nowadays, you have to take on massive amounts of debt to go to college, only to graduate and find that there aren't any jobs available. So you leave college, go back to living with your parents, and wonder how the hell you're going to pay-off that tremendous debt weighing you down.

Here's an interesting idea: sell a kidney. After all, if a kid can sell a kidney to buy an iPad...

Economic concepts like supply and demand are very easy to understand. In the West, purchasing a kidney is illegal but can be done for as much as $85,000. And make no mistake: there are plenty of people who have the means to pay that and do so willingly - legal or not.

what you ladies in for my business prices were higher than my competitors so i was charged with price gouging my prices were lower than my competitors so i was charged with predatory pricing my prices were the same as my competitors so i was charged with collusion supply demand free marketWhy are they so expensive? Because of an economic concept called scarcity. We live in a world where we want and need more than we have at our disposal. As demand is high for certain items that are in short-supply, the price goes up because people are willing to pay more in order to ensure they get the item before they're all gone. It makes sense, doesn't it? After all, if the price of cars were only $1.00 each, pretty much everyone would want to buy a car. And even if the car manufacturers wanted such demand, they wouldn't be able to produce enough cars to satisfy it.

Although not always, when you see such high prices and scarce goods, the government usually had something to do with it. Demand for kidneys has always exceeded supply. Of the approximate 660,000 transplants wanted worldwide, only about 10% receive them each year. In the US, where it's illegal to sell an organ, there's a waiting list of 10 years. However, in Iran, where it is legal to sell a kidney, the cost to procure one is about $1,100 and is "available for every patient, regardless of the socioeconomic status." Likewise, in the Philippines, where organ sales are also legal, the total cost of a transplant is $6,300.

As you can enjoy a healthy life with only one of your two kidneys (as long as it's operating properly), how much would you sell a kidney for? Do you consider it unethical to sell an organ and, if so, why? What are the pros and cons for legalizing the sale of human organs? If you're against the sale of organs, would you be less adverse to the idea if it wasn't money that was exchanged but some other value (e.g., if the donor got free health care for the rest of his life)? Rather than having opt-in organ donor cards for when someone dies, should the law state that everyone automatically becomes a donor when they die? Does it make you uncomfortable to talk about the price of a kidney?

Sue Rabbitt Roff, a researcher at Dundee University, said it was time to "explore" kidney donors being paid as an "incentive".

Mrs Roff believes the payment should be set at about £28,000 - equivalent to the UK average annual income.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said it would not support cash being paid for organs...

"It would be an incentive across most income levels for those who wanted to do a kind deed and make enough money to, for instance, pay off university loans," she said...

Three people a day die on the UK kidney transplant list - but the number of donations is not keeping pace with the demand for the organs, according to Mrs Roff.

And the need for kidneys is only likely to rise with the increase in conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, she said.

But Dr Tony Calland, chairman of the BMA's medical ethics committee, rejected the call for donor payments.

He said: "Organ donation should be altruistic and based on clinical need. Living kidney donation carries a small but significant health risk.

"Introducing payment could lead to donors feeling compelled to take these risks, contrary to their better judgement, because of their financial situation."

Kidney donor payments 'would save lives.' Hard-up students should be allowed to pay off their debts by selling a kidney, an academic has argued


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Aug 4, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=614

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