The Iranian Kidney Machine

Iran's market for kidneys.

One More Organ Donor

Dubner acts as a signing witness for a new organ donor.

An Organ Printer?

We've blogged at length about the shortage of donor organs in the United States. A company in San Diego is working on a solution to that problem.

Incentivized Altruism

Only one in ten Israeli adults is an organ donor and the country is addressing the situation with an innovative new policy. Organ donors and their close relatives will now receive priority if they require a transplant.

A New Solution to Unemployment?

We've blogged extensively about the serious organ-doner shortage in the U.S. and the debate over establishing a market for organs. Now it seems the recession has uncovered some unexpected potential participants in the organ market: unemployed white collar Americans.

Is the Ban on Selling Bone Marrow Unconstitutional?

I've written a fair amount about organ transplantation in the past (for example, here and here). But it was only in reading SuperFreakonomics that I learned that “the Iranian government [pays] people to give up a kidney, roughly $1,200, with an additional sum paid by the kidney recipient.” The book also tells the story of our own country's brief flirtation with donor compensation:

For Sale: One Kidney?

Virginia Postrel examines the kidney donation system in the United States, where 11 people die every day waiting for a kidney transplant. Exchanging organs for payment is illegal in the U.S. although recent developments in organ exchanges, including donation chains, have been successful. These innovations alone, however, won't solve the problem, and Postrel advocates a new system that includes both financial incentives and measures to protect donors.

Turning One Kidney Into Ten

Economist Al Roth has an interesting blog post that describes how one altruistic kidney donor saved 10 lives. Here's how it worked.

One of the things Roth has been working
on, given the repugnance many noneconomists feel about paying for organs, is creating chains of organ donations. Many people who need kidney transplants have a donor who is willing to donate one, but who is not a good match for the recipient.

In a Divorce, Who Gets the Organs?

Dr. Richard Batista‘s wife’s health was failing, and so was their marriage. To save them both, he offered to be the kidney donor his wife Dawnell badly needed. Dawnell recovered, but their marriage didn’t. A few years later she filed for divorce. Now her husband says he wants his kidney back. If he can’t have […]

Would a Market for Organs Punish the Poor More Than They Are Already Punished?

Below is a fascinating statement issued by Physicians for a National Health Program, “a membership organization of over 15,000 physicians [which] supports a single-payer national health insurance program.” You should read the whole thing but, in a nutshell: The people who receive donated organs in the U.S. nearly always have health insurance, while a significant […]