This has been at least a minor peeve of mine since then-Congo Al Gore got the law passed in 1984 making it illegal to buy or sell human organs, thus no compensation for organ donors. I had a nice phone call with Sally Satel at the American Enterprise Institute for this Register editorial calling for legalization of compensation for organ donors. I really don't understand the notion that it is somehow "dirty" or "demeaning" or "exploitive for an organ donor to be paid. The result of mandatory altruism, not surprisingly, is a chronic "shortage" of usable organs and almost 5,000 kidney patients dying each year -- more than have been killed to date in Iraq, and a thriving black market lacking, as black markets usually do, elementary quality control and featuring genuine exploitation. When did it become the mark of a "liberal" to be able to boast that he or she got something else outylawed?
Sally got a kidney d0nated by Virginia Postrel in 2006, or she might not have been around to talk to me. She's written a book calling for donor compensation, which I plan to get, read, and report on to you and others.