The NHS should pay kidney donors

I'm in CapX along with The Niskanen Center's Samuel Hammond arguing that we should that we  the NHS should pay kidney donors to eliminate the transplant waiting list and save lives.

"Couples in the UK, where paying egg donors is illegal, often travel to the US for IVF, where paying donors is legal. In many provinces in Canada, paying for blood plasma is illegal, and as a result 80% of Immune Globulin is imported from America, where college students earn money by selling blood plasma. Iran created a regulated market for kidneys in the 1980s, and by 1999 the kidney transplant waitlist was almost entirely clear.

"Kidney donors not only save lives and allow patients to come off dialysis, they also save the NHS money. According to the National Kidney Federation, each kidney transplant saves the NHS over £200,000 by reducing the need for expensive dialysis treatment. That’s significantly more than $40,000 price the Nobel Laureate Gary Becker and his co-author Julio Elias estimated would be necessary to eliminate the kidney shortage altogether.


"Then there are those who are simply repulsed by the idea of paying for organs, per se – the strange notion that “commodification” risks a greater abrogation of human dignity than a culture that permits hundreds of avoidable deaths. The tragedy is that paying for organs is inevitable. Either we choose to pay donors directly, or society pays through an utterly predictable loss of life and treasure."

Read the full piece here.

Photo credit: North Dakota National Guard