I can always use an extra $30 or $40 thousand. So why can’t I put my left kidney up for sale on eBay? Well, as John Stossel explains in this op-ed, Al Gore and his accomplices in Congress made it a federal crime:
In 1984, U.S. Rep. Al Gore sponsored a law making the sale of organs punishable by five years in jail … So giving someone a kidney is a good deed, but selling the same kidney is a felony.
Does the Gore legislation make sense? Consider the following:
Today, 74,000 Americans wait for kidney transplants while enduring painful, exhausting and expensive hours hooked up to dialysis machines … Every day, about 17 Americans die while waiting for a transplant.
If I were permitted to sell one of my kidneys, in other words, it would put cash in my bank account and save someone’s life—a classic win-win deal. But our betters have said “no,” which seemed crazy to one kidney patient interviewed by Stossel:
The doctors make money, the hospitals make money, the organ procurement organizations make money. Everybody gets something except for the donor!
The kidney patient who made that observation is now dead. I’m sure his wife, kids, and friends are all grateful to Al Gore and the other high-minded moralists who protected him from being sullied by a free market in organs.