The medical community's opposition to organ markets: Ethics or economics?
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A severe shortage of cadaveric human organs for transplantation exists in the U.S. The obvious cause of this shortage is our current public policy which proscribes payment for such organs. Support for this policy and opposition to the formation of organ markets has been quite strong among transplant suppliers (both hospital and physician groups). This paper critically evaluates the ethical arguments advanced to buttress this policy position and presents an alternative economic explanation based upon profit-maximizing behavior. The model we develop is based upon monopsony in organ procurement with a kinked (and possibly discontinuous) organ supply function.
Key wordsOrgan transplants monopsony
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