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In grade school they told me that my body, minus the water, is worth about $1.05 in various minerals.
In middle school I was taught that a man is more than the sum of his parts, but they didn’t supply numbers. I have to assume my corporal form has increased in value to at least a ten-spot.
Hypothetically, that’s the end of what my physical form is worth, however, because there is a federal law forbidding that I sell any of it. It’s not always illegal to buy body parts (depending on the state), and thus there is an existing market for kidneys, eyes, skin, parts of livers, and others things that I could pawn off for a pretty penny and live a full life thereafter. Because there is an existing demand, the prices for these items are extravagant. This demand has spawned urban legends of men awaking in tubs full of ice water, a note to call for medical assistance, and sans at least one kidney.
I haven’t found an actual buyer, but I have found some research via the oracle of all knowledge, Google, and some of the going prices, depending on location, then translated into a common currency are:
- Kidney – $1,000-10,000 USD
- Eye – $400-2,000 USD
- Lung – $1,000-5,000 USD
An offer to be paid for the donation of a healthy bit would surely entice some of our less philanthropic members of society to donate, and thus perhaps save some of the lives of people awaiting transplants, or make life easier for someone, or at worst, allow some researcher some more knowledge that may pay off in the forms of better future treatments.
So why is there a law forbidding the payment of people willing to voluntarily sacrifice a part of themselves? Is it time to make a fuss, and change the law to benefit more people?