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Why Kidney Sales Should be Allowed

Summary:
I think this law [making sales of kidneys illegal] is basically a form of mass murder. The government is not merely allowing 5000 deaths a year, or failing to save 5000 people; it is killing 5,000 people a year. Since the killing is unjustified (it is not, e.g., done in self-defense, or defense of an innocent third party, or as just punishment for a heinous crime, or as a form of euthanasia), it is murder. This is from Michael Huemer, “Why Not Sell a Kidney?,” April 6, 2019. Huemer is co-blogger Bryan Caplan’s favorite philosopher. The title does not quite fit the content, by the way. The post is really about why kidney sales should be allowed. So don’t worry that Huemer is trying to persuade you to sell your kidney. In case you think the quote above is an

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Why Kidney Sales Should be Allowed

I think this law [making sales of kidneys illegal] is basically a form of mass murder. The government is not merely allowing 5000 deaths a year, or failing to save 5000 people; it is killing 5,000 people a year. Since the killing is unjustified (it is not, e.g., done in self-defense, or defense of an innocent third party, or as just punishment for a heinous crime, or as a form of euthanasia), it is murder.

This is from Michael Huemer, “Why Not Sell a Kidney?,” April 6, 2019. Huemer is co-blogger Bryan Caplan’s favorite philosopher. The title does not quite fit the content, by the way. The post is really about why kidney sales should be allowed. So don’t worry that Huemer is trying to persuade you to sell your kidney.

In case you think the quote above is an overstatement, first go and read Huemer’s whole post, which is not long.

I wrote a memo justifying kidney sales in 1983, around the time Representative Al Gore’s bill was introduced in Congress.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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