Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Singaporean Organ Market

Posted by Simon Halliday | Thursday, November 20, 2008 | Category: |

Singapore is planning to pay organ donors (at least for kidney transplants and eggs).  I know doctors balk at the idea, but there is horrendous loss of life currently because doctors and hospitals refuse to allow payments for organs by private institutions or by non-governmental organisations that might elect to provide organs for donor-patient matches. I really think that (regulated) moves in this direction are a good idea.

Question: will this result in a substantial influx of overseas individuals who need organs and find matches in their own countries going to Singapore? Will it results in organ donor tourism? I don't know, but the seeds are there.


Currently have 2 comments:

  1. God yes, it will result in higher number of organs available. You have to imagine that there will be a rather large fee paid for donated organs since it's such a big commitment. A significant number of poor/down on their luck people will donate.

    This will bring in the organ tourists for sure. Look to China's underground market for an example. Think about the abortion tourism pre-Roe v. Wade in the US. But I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. It will be an interesting experiment. Thanks for the article.

  2. Hi Timothy,
    Agreed. I'd really like to see some kind of implementation of this kind of project with really high quality evaluation in place at the same time. When I mentioned organ donor tourism it wasn't meant as a 'bad', but, ironically, possibly a useful thing for the first country or collection of states that choose to implement such policy.

    One thing I am in favour of though is regulation to ensure that everyone is protected, both the donor and the patient, or in this case customer. I'd like to see more written about potential forms of regulation on this, the only person I've really seen or read on this is Richard Epstein. Do you happen to know any others?