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Mao Zedong would admire the utilitarian zeal with which Posner advocates a market in human organs. And Posner's "general skepticism" about market efficiency is a stark contrast to his scholarly writings a few decades ago. His present equivocation suggests a futile yearning for a SCOTUS seat if Obama is re-elected.

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Selling a body part can't be an easy decision so the price has to be high enough to be attractive to the poor .Such a price would also be prohibitive for them,donors or not, in case they need a kidney.
I also have a big problem with your assumptions that health care should be private and that ,in today's world, there is real competition. For real competition we need strong regulators,proper legislation and more ethics in the business world -instead we have less and less players in each field and increasing political power for the remaining players.
I also wonder if the scars wouldn't brand one,for life, as a poor person and "only good for spare parts" and to what degree is it mutilation (if it free will when one gets payed a significant amount of much needed money).
Even if there is a workable and reasonable solution,should we ignore the social norm?It can be reshaped but is it worth it?I already imagine the reds vs blue going at it for decades.And is it cheaper and faster to go this way than to invest in artificial organs (this is a new topic for me so not at all well informed)?

Eric Rasmusen

Last week I heard a paper on "kidney exchanges" presented. Al is willing to donate a kidney to help Bob, but his blood type doesn't match. Charles is willing to donate a kidney to help Don, but his type doesn't match. Thus, they make a deal: Al donates to Don and Charles donates to Bob.

These can cycle, with 3, 4, 5, etc. donors.

The presenter said a big problem is that the exchanges have to be nearly simultaneous, because after Al donates, Charles might welsh on the deal.

Thus, a palatable reform would be to enforce barter contracts in body parts. This would not have to be enforced with specific performance. Money damages would be OK, perhaps liquidated with a bond posted in advance. The damages if not made specific would be the health loss to the person from not having the donated kidney he was promised, minus the operation costs.

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