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Evelyn Ojeda
Professor Altman
English 113 A
24 November 2014
Kindly Kidney
The immorality that exists between those that sell a kidney is not always what it seems.
In today’s world “about 350,000 Americans suffer from end-stage renal disease” (Mackay 1).
Renal disease is a disease that causes the kidneys to stop functioning altogether. This is a serious
problem because the patient diagnosed with this disease will soon become known as deceased
unless another solution is reached. People living without a kidney are often put on dialysis
however, it is a very “harsh, expensive, and worst of all, only temporary” (Mackay 1) way of
getting by without a kidney which is why renal patients everywhere are willing to do anything
for one. Buying a kidney, or any organ, is not really an easy thing to come by since it is actually
illegal, however, one does get put on a wait list. This wait list is lengthy and the kidneys that are
available are either from those that died or those that were “generous” enough to donate which is
something that is not very common since the need for kidneys outweighs the convenience for
one. The selling of a human kidney should be made legal because those suffering from renal
disease would give up their wait from that list of despair and move onto living their life. Another
reason why the selling of kidneys should be legal is because it would eradicate the black market.
It would also allow for the government to regulate and oversee what goes on in the selling of
kidneys, which could only be beneficial to those that are selling a kidney and those that are
buying a kidney. There is controversy about why kidneys should not be legally sold mainly
because the poor would be a center target however, it should be their choice to make. The selling

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of kidneys legally would also bring about a surplus of advocates willing to give up their kidney
in exchange for money. This surplus of advocates would not only be doing a good service but
they would also be compensated for doing so, this could mean food at the table, college tuitions
paid, etc. Although many claim that the selling of organs are wrong, we should allow people to
sell their own kidneys because it will help treat those with renal failure, help eliminate the black
market, and will involve the government so that they could ensure that the poor not be abused or
The wait for a kidney is said to be nearly ten years long. In the article “Organs will Save
Lives” by Joanna MacKay she writes about a wait that extends as far back as 60,000 people, it is
no wonder why renal patients are willing to explore other [illegal] options (McKay 2). If the
selling of human kidneys was made legal than the wait list would not exist and the exploration of
other [illegal] options would not be necessary. Renal patients would be given their lives back,
free to live, to love, and to exist without worrying about tomorrow. The line that once extended
as far back as 60,000 people would be diminished all because the sale of a kidney was made
legal. This would give renal patients everywhere hope and promise to their tomorrow. Why
would anybody ever try to stand in the way of that?
If the sale of human kidneys was to be legalized then the sales of kidneys through the
black market would be completely eradicated. The black market was that option of desperation,
with renal patients dying because they simply could not out wait the list it is no wonder why they
decided to turn to this solution. The black market was very appealing for those suffering with
renal disease since there was no line and everything was arranged and taken care of for the
amount of $150,000 (McKay 2). "Only the truly naïve imagine that organs are not currently
being sold on the black market"(Schulman 2). The black market and the illegal activity that went

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on between it was an outrageous success, even with the governments’ tight regulation and
incentives to send whoever broke this law to jail it did not stop those that were truly desperate
from buying a kidney. “The International Business Times estimates that illegal organ sales
constitute a $75 million per year industry,” (Schulman 2), just imagine the possibilities of the
American economy and the success it would have if kidney sales were made legal. America
would not only be an economically booming nation but it would also have rid itself of the selling
of kidneys through the corrupted black market. The government would thus take on the new role
of ensuring the safety of those who sell a kidney and those who buy a kidney. Thusly the
governments’ new task would involve regulating and monitoring instead of having to fail at
every attempt made at trying to bring down the black market.
The controversy about not allowing the legalization of human kidneys to be sold is a
widely discussed issue about the ethical line it draws between the rich and poor. There are people
willing to pay anything for a kidney and then there are those that are desperate enough to part
with a kidney in exchange for compensation. This implication causes many to disapprove of
legalizing the sale of kidneys for, "Rich people have no reason to sell a kidney” (Ritter 2).
However, that is a presumptuous statement implying that the rich would not take part in the
selling of their own kidneys and therefore should be stripped of even being an implication to the
selling of human kidneys. Although if one were to say that there would be a problem with the
aspects of the poor being targeted than the government would take initiative in handling the
situation. The government would be regulating and monitoring the system and making sure that
things like the situations listed above be avoided. The ethical perception does not have to be
shattered because of the legalization of kidney sales, for the government could formally educate
those willingly wanting to sell their kidneys. By informing them of all the risks and dangers that

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come with this procedure, those looking to sell their kidneys now have the opportunity to rethink
this decision. People are always going to have an opinion, the poor could be seen as major
targets if kidneys were to be sold or they could be targeted to make sure they are making the best
decision. In the end we have to ask ourselves this, “how can we deny them the best opportunity
they have” (Mackay 4)? How could it be seen as morally wrong when the poor are only trying to
do right and those suffering from renal disease are only trying to live.
Money today could be used to justify certain situations, like if the sale of kidneys was to
be legalized. It would not only be the end to renal disease because of those willing to sell their
kidneys, but the future to those patients suffering from renal disease. With a number like 350,000
people diagnosed with renal disease it is a surprise that the selling of kidneys has not been
legalized (McKay 1). All those people are put on a wait list, waiting to see if a kind donor or a
cadaver will fill the void where their kidneys once laid. Though kindness would be a good word
for people donating a kidney it is not as effective as money. If kidneys could be sold legally that
wait list would cease to exist and “people would have more of an incentive to help save the life
of a stranger,” (MacKay 4). Money mistakably runs this world and that cannot be unchanged but
its why money could be used to justify a cause such as the donation of kidneys to end the
overwhelming amount of people suffering from renal. Renal patients would no longer have to
suffer, and if it is because money was an incentive to get donors to donate their kidney than why
would legalizing the sale of kidneys be such a horrible thing to do? It would actually be
beneficial for everyone not only the renal patient but the doctors and the donors as well.
Legalizing the sale of human kidneys could save the lives of many. Not only would it
help treat those with renal failure, but it would eliminate the black market and involve our
government to control and regulate the selling of kidneys as well as protect the patrons that

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decide to part with their own [kidney]. Legalizing the sale of human kidneys could only be
beneficial to our society. And those who think otherwise should reconsider because the question
of, is it morally acceptable to let people die by the thousands just because many found it immoral
is what is unacceptable.

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Works Cited
Schulman, Miriam. “Kidneys for Sale: Reconsideration.” Markkula Center for Applied
Ethics. 2014. Online. 10 November 2014.
Berger, Alexander. “Why Selling Kidneys Should Be Legal.” New York Times. 5 December
2011. Online. 10 November 2014.
Ritter, Peter. “Legalizing the Organ Trade?” TIME. 19 August 2014. Online. 10 November
McKay, Joanna. “Organ Sales Will Save Lives.” 30 November 2004: Pages 1, 2, 4. Article.