TRANSPLANTS AND TEARS

The two are irrevocably tied together. That sad reality has been largely ignored in the hysteria surrounding the Nataline Sarkisyan case. Because there aren’t enough organs to go around, every patient receiving one has several counterparts who won’t. And these counterparts will die.

Remember, back in Econ 101, when the professor droned on and on about “opportunity cost”? Well this is a dramatic example of how that seemingly arcane concept manifests itself in the real world. Dr. Rich does a good job of spelling out the opportunity cost associated with transplants:

Most people who need liver transplants in order to survive will die without ever receiving one. As of this morning … there are 17,143 Americans officially on the waiting list for livers. In the year 2007, only 5398 patients from this list received liver transplants, while 9286 were “removed? from the transplant list without being transplanted.

This means that the opportunity cost for one transplant is 1.7 deaths. It also means that organs are rationed. This is not optional. The only real choice involves how it is done. Some think this is best done by government bureaucrats. Others would rather see it done by the free market. Either way, the organs WILL be rationed.

So, when politicians like John Edwards or charlatans like Michael Moore claim that government-run health care will provide a liver is every pot, they are lying.

Comments 5

  1. Marc Brown wrote:

    ‘So, when politicians like John Edwards or charlatans like Michael Moore claim that government-run health care will provide a liver is every pot, they are lying.’

    No one’s saying that David as you well know.

    Posted 12 Jan 2008 at 4:02 pm
  2. Catron wrote:

    They are certainly implying it. And, from the comments I have seen on a number of blogs and news sites, plenty of gullible people are hearing it that way—and (incredibly) believing it.

    Posted 12 Jan 2008 at 5:18 pm
  3. drmatt wrote:

    Implied where David? so you basically dedicated a whole post to your “percepction” that someone “implied” something? cute

    Posted 13 Jan 2008 at 6:13 am
  4. Rich wrote:

    All inference is perception.

    Some people are just more perceptive than others.

    Posted 13 Jan 2008 at 9:54 am
  5. drmatt wrote:

    no matter how “perceptive” you are, perception is not reality, nor is it truth.

    Posted 15 Jan 2008 at 10:23 am

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