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Title: Who Owns Your Body?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
URL Source: https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/who-owns-your-body/
Published: Aug 7, 2018
Author: Laurence M. Vance
Post Date: 2018-08-07 17:50:25 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 184
Comments: 21

Norma Brickey, an eighty-two-year-old mother, has been driving the streets of Columbus, Ohio, with a sign in her car window reading, “My son needs a kidney, O positive,” followed by her phone number. Both she and another of her sons have had kidney transplants. All three suffer from polycystic kidney disease, a condition in which cysts form on the kidneys.

Her son who is still waiting for a kidney transplant goes to dialysis for four hours, and then goes to his job as a nurse for 12 hours. He has been on dialysis for almost two years. “This is the year I’m going to find him a kidney,” says his mother. She doesn’t “make extra trips for people to see the sign.” She just does her errands, and almost every day gets a call.

Why doesn’t Norma Brickey just offer to pay someone to give one of his kidneys to her son? Why doesn’t she just offer to purchase a kidney from the family of someone who recently died? Why doesn’t she just offer to pay someone to have his kidneys harvested from his body when he dies?

The first successful kidney transplant was done in 1954. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have undergone a kidney transplant. More than 670,000 people in the United States live with end-stage renal disease. More than 34,000 kidney transplants were performed last year. It’s not exactly rocket science to transplant a kidney.

The problem is that Norma Brickey can’t make those offers. And money has nothing to do with it. She isn’t allowed to make such offers. No one is allowed to sell her any of the organs in his body — not while he’s alive and not after he’s dead.

Why?

Because the federal government has so decreed it.

Selling the organs in your body while you are alive (kidney or intestine segment) or after you are dead (heart, lungs, liver, et cetera) is currently a criminal action.

Public Law 98-507 (S.2048, 98 Stat. 2339), the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA), was enacted on October 19, 1984. It outlawed the sale of bodily organs and established the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) to facilitate the procurement of such organs. The program is administered by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a nonprofit organization.

According to the NOTA, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human organ for valuable consideration for use in human transplantation if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” The penalty is a fine of $50,000 or a maximum of five years in prison, or both. The Senate Report accompanying NOTA stated that “human body parts should not be viewed as commodities.”

According to the OPTN,

  • 114,440 people need a lifesaving organ transplant, including 94,900 waiting for kidneys.
  • Every ten minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list.
  • On average, 95 transplants take place each day in the United States.

However,

  • More than 7,000 candidates died in 2016 while on the wait list.
  • Despite advances in medicine and technology, and increased awareness of organ donation and transplantation, there continues to be a gap between supply and demand.
  • More progress is needed to ensure that all candidates have a chance to receive a transplant.

Because there are not “enough donated organs to transplant everyone in need,” the factors of “justice (fair consideration of candidates’ circumstances and medical needs), and medical utility (trying to increase the number of transplants performed and the length of time patients and organs survive)” must be balanced.

Before an organ is allocated for transplant, all “candidates on the waiting list that are incompatible with the donor because of blood type, height, weight and other medical factors are automatically screened from any potential matches.” A computer application “determines the order that the other candidates will receive offers, according to national policies.”

There are many factors that account for how long someone might wait for a transplant: blood type, tissue type, height and weight of transplant candidate, size of donated organ, medical urgency, time on the waiting list, the distance between the donor’s hospital and the potential donor organ, how many donors there are in the local area over a period of time, the transplant center’s criteria for accepting organ offers.

The ability to pay for an organ that is needed for a transplant and the willingness to sell one have nothing to do with the procuring of an organ.

If there is one thing that the poorest people in the world have in common with the richest it is that both groups own their own body. The poor man may not have anything else, but he has himself. His body belongs to him. And if it belongs to him, then it doesn’t belong to the government. And if you own your own body, then you certainly also own the organs in your body. Since anyone should be able to do what he wants with his own body — as long as his activities are peaceful, his interactions are consensual, his associations are voluntary, and he doesn’t violate the personal or property rights of anyone else — anyone should have the freedom to sell his bodily organs to the highest bidder.

And that’s not all. If a person’s body belongs to him, then he should have the right to do whatever he wishes to or with his own body: medicate it as he sees fit; rent it out for sexual favors; engage in recreational activities as he pleases; modify it; or inject, snort, inhale, or otherwise ingest substances into it — as long as he is paying the bill for those things and not violating anyone else’s rights while he is doing any of them.

What a person does with his body might be dangerous, unhealthy, destructive, or immoral, but it is an illegitimate function of government to concern itself with what he does with his own body. Actions that are peaceful, private, voluntary, and consensual should never be criminalized.

Those with objections to what someone does to or with his body have the right to persuade people to do otherwise. They do not have the right to use the force of government to stop people from engaging in activities that do not violate anyone else’s rights.

Who owns your body? If the government can control what you put in it, what you do with it, and what you allow others to do to it, then the government is the de facto owner of your body and every organ in it.

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

as long as he is paying the bill for those things and not violating anyone else’s rights while he is doing any of them.

Well there's the rub.

misterwhite  posted on  2018-08-07   18:07:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Deckard (#0)

No one is allowed to sell her any of the organs in his body — not while he’s alive and not after he’s dead.

If it were legal, a disproportionate number of poor would be selling their organs to the rich. That's been the experience in Iran and Pakistan.

What happens if a poor person sells their kidney and the remaining kidney later fails? Who picks up the tab for dialysis and a transplant?

misterwhite  posted on  2018-08-07   18:12:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Deckard (#0)

Mandatory organ harvesting at death with no opt out makes sense. Selling organs, less so.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-08-07   22:38:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Vicomte13 (#3)

Mandatory organ harvesting at death with no opt out makes sense

Take your “mandatory” and stick that up your snowflake ass. I’d rather another die, before they get any organs from me... unless it’s family or friend.

I'm the infidel... Allah warned you about. كافر المسلح

GrandIsland  posted on  2018-08-07   23:15:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Deckard (#0)

Who Owns Your Body?

The company sto?

Do I win anything?

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-08-07   23:25:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Vicomte13 (#3)

What a sick concept. Mandatory.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-08-07   23:53:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: A K A Stone (#6)

What a sick concept. Mandatory.

If the alternative is selling organs, then yes, absolutely: mandatory. Dead people have no use for vital organs. The living do.

Remember, the choice that has been offered is selling organs. Better to harvest the dead than to create a market in organs.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-08-08   18:25:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: GrandIsland (#4)

I’d rather another die, before they get any organs from me... unless it’s family or friend.

I'm sure you would. Which is why it would be mandatory: to remove that choice from you. You'd rather another die. You're dead. Your organs can prevent another from dying, so we take them and use them. You're none the wiser (because you're dead), the other person lives, and we don't have to allow a market to develop in organs.

Pretty straightforward.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-08-08   18:27:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Vicomte13, Government organ harvesting, Karl Marx (#7)

Better to harvest the dead than to create a market in organs.

Has it occurred to you that your beloved government might speed your demise if Javanka needs one of your organs?

Government is capable of worse atrocities than the private sector, because they can get away with it. Qualified Immunity.

It's been nice knowing ya, buh bye.

hondo68  posted on  2018-08-08   18:46:30 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: hondo68 (#9)

Good point Hondo I agree with you and thought the same.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-08-08   19:35:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: A K A Stone (#10)

Yes, it has occurred to me that the medical establishment will hasten the demise of the terminally ill - and that is the reason why we must not have mandatory harvesting of organs, why we should have presumed consent only, but allowing opt out.

My postulate was versus something: and the something I was opposing was allowing a "free market" in organs.

Right now, our law does not allow a market in organs OR have mandatory harvesting, and that is exactly where I think the law should remain.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-08-08   22:19:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Vicomte13 (#11)

You actually said

Mandatory organ harvesting at death with no opt out makes sense. Selling organs, less so.

I'm glad you changed your mind. No reason to make excuses.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-08-09   7:00:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: A K A Stone (#12)

I did not change my mind. I am not a politician. Nor am I standing up in court pleading on behalf of a client. Nor am I testifying under oath. I’m writing messages on a chat board. As such, I do not feel the obligation to fully explain exactly what I really think about each and every thing before I make a hypothetical.

I was responding to an excessively libertarian Uber-free market idea that rich people, if they have the money, should be able to buy poor people’s organs if the poor are willing to sell them.

I decided not to write a long expository essay, but to answer obnoxious excessive libertarian with an equally obnoxious statism that addressed the same problem. I did that specifically to push the buttons of the libertarians who really believe that money and contract should decide all things.

I suppose I could write even longer, more ponderous things than I already do, to explain EXACTLY my real position on each and every thing, so there can be no confusion. If I were running for office, or for “most popular” on the board, or anything, maybe I would have to do it.

As it is, I like being able to fire off, in parallel, without disclaimers, a position as outrageous and offensive as the one I am opposing, simply to put the white/black contrast up there and cause sensible people to react negatively to BOTH extremes. Then it’s a lot easier to accept that the status quo is pretty reasonable.

But FOR THE RECORD, no, liberty of contract is not more important than human life. And no, the fact of having extra money should NOT give somebody the right to buy the organs of a desperate person. This makes money much, much more powerful than it should be allowed to be. Morality trumps economics on matters of life and death. The rich do not have the.right to buy longer life spans by buying organs from the desperately poor.

Flip it around. There is an antivenom owned by a hospital, and a billionaire has been bitten by a krait and needs the antivenom or he will die. The hospital says: the price for YOU for this antivenom is $750 million dollars. For you to live, you must immediately transfer to us three-quarters of your estate. The rich man of course has the contractual freedom to say “no”, and just die instead.

The right answer is that there has to be a rule, imposed by the state and enforced by courts, that do not let human greed use desperate medical and economic situations to extract excessive monies - or organs - out of the weak by exploiting their desperation.

Remember that Skreli guy? He bought the patent rights to a life-saving drug, and then raised the price about 1000%, figuring that the demand curve was inelastic. It makes good economic and business sense. Which is why the law has to step in and criminalize that: yes, it certainly makes good business sense, but there are things that are more important than private individuals extracting as much money as they can out of the economy. There is a REASONABLE profit that can be made off drugs to reward their developers well. But ultimately, once a drug is invented and patented and generally saves lives, no, the ownership rights of the drug owner do NOT trump the right of tens of thousands of people to live, and no, the property owner does NOT have the right to extract extortion to let people have the drug. They have the right to reasonable access to life, and he has the right to be paid reasonably for it. That’s what our law actually enforces, and once again, I agree with the logic of our law. Skreli was prosecuted because instead of being the steward of a necessary drug and getting quite rich on that, he acted like a troll on a bridge and sought to extort TOO MUCH from people. The law does not give that right, and punished him for doing what he did. Rightly.

There. That was much longer. And it draws the line exactly where I draw it. Property rights and capitalism are important, but not the MOST important thing. Life is more important, and property rights and the right of contract and pricing must be, and is rightly, restricted by the power of the state to PREVENT troll-like behavior by the possessors of life-saving medicines.

BECAUSE the rich will buy organs and the desperately poor will sell them, that has to be outlawed. And is.

We should harvest the organs of the dead, routinely, but if they specifically object and opt out, we should respect their beliefs and leave them be,

Those are the right answers. They always were. A libertarian posted an obnoxious libertarian excess. I replied with an obnoxious statist excess. A troll was replied to with a troll.

I didn’t change my mind. If you want to see a lot MORE of my mind, on every subject, then go ahead and make me explain every position, in detail, every time I say anything. You allow yourself all sorts of excesses in your writing, and you allow people you agree with all sorts of hyperbole. But me, you hold to the standard of a witness under oath. Then you complain when I go long.

It is impossible to win in your court. The solution is for me not to be glib. It is to go long. But that bores ME. So I’ll stick with glib when it suits me, because this is supposed to be fun, not work.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-08-09   8:01:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Vicomte13, A K A Stone (#13)

Morality trumps economics on matters of life and death. The rich do not have the.right to buy longer life spans by buying organs from the desperately poor.

....There is an antivenom owned by a hospital, and a billionaire has been bitten by a krait and needs the antivenom or he will die. The hospital says: the price for YOU for this antivenom is $750 million dollars. For you to live, you must immediately transfer to us three-quarters of your estate. The rich man of course has the contractual freedom to say “no”, and just die instead.

The right answer is that there has to be a rule, imposed by the state and enforced by courts, that do not let human greed use desperate medical and economic situations to extract excessive monies - or organs - out of the weak by exploiting their desperation.

The rich will buy organs and the desperately poor will sell them, that has to be outlawed. And is.

Intellectually provocative cases and scenarios. Great points.

The sale of organs is outlawed (at least officially) in the West, but not elsewhere (as in Asia), where ghouls on both sides engage in this dehumanizing trafficking.

We should harvest the organs of the dead, routinely, but if they specifically object and opt out, we should respect their beliefs and leave them be...

Disagree vehemently on your proposed protocol.

NO human should have their organs or any part of their remains harvested as a matter of DEFAULT. The non-declaration or specification either way should be construed and respected to express "DO NOT HARVEST".

"Opt Out" = One of those linguistic tricks/traps used by PTB to reverse or invert Natural Rights.

Liberator  posted on  2018-08-10   10:52:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Deckard (#0)

The Company Store?

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-08-10   11:33:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Liberator (#14)

"Opt Out" = One of those linguistic tricks/traps used by PTB to reverse or invert Natural Rights.

I agree that the rights of the individual trump the rights of the mass of people when speaking of the living, but that becomes very much attenuated in my eyes when speaking of the dead.

The dead feel nothing and know nothing. But the living who need organs to live feel pain and fear, and can be saved.

Balancing the equities, I come down on the side of the living and their desire to continue to live. If the rights of the dead are "violated" by having an opt-out, as opposed to an opt-in, I am willing to sacrifice those rights of the dead in order to preserve the rights of the living. The living need the organs, and the dead are past caring.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-08-11   17:48:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: Vicomte13 (#16) (Edited)

I agree that the rights of the individual trump the rights of the mass of people when speaking of the living, but that becomes very much attenuated in my eyes when speaking of the dead.

The dead feel nothing and know nothing. But the living who need organs to live feel pain and fear, and can be saved.

The dead still have rights to a proper burial. With respect to and for ALL its parts intact. Otherwise, what are we endorsing? Grave Robbery?? By whose authority? The State?

Vic, the ENTIRE deceased body would be harvested and picked at like vultures -- you must know that; Already one of the reasons for abortions is...its body parts harvesting.

The living MUST have the explicit consent of the dying/deceased for donations of body parts and organs. Otherwise, this process indeed becomes Grave Robbery. Humanity has already degraded itself to a pathetic degree. The default possession by the state to confiscate and butcher the remains of ALL the deceased is...uncivilized and frankly, ghoulish and demonic.

The Dead still need to be respected. And always have been.

Liberator  posted on  2018-08-12   11:42:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Liberator (#17)

The Dead still need to be respected.

Of course they do. And allowing them to opt out of organ harvesting respects them. But the lives of the living are more important than respect for the dead.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-08-12   17:30:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Vicomte13 (#13)

I did not change my mind.

You said all the following. All over the map. At least you are consistent you get caught contradicting yourself as in scripture and you make excuses and exceptions. Perhaps if you were a better thinker you could see the contradictions. Then you would also have to learn to write better to get your ideas across logically.

Mandatory organ harvesting at death with no opt out makes sense. Selling organs, less

Your organs can prevent another from dying, so we take them and use them. You're none the wiser (because you're dead),

we must not have mandatory harvesting of organs, why we should have presumed consent only, but allowing opt out.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-08-12   18:45:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: A K A Stone (#19) (Edited)

You're obtuse.

We should have mandatory harvesting of organs at death, with an opt out, and we should ban the private sale of organs.

Simple, sane, straightforward.

Nothing confusing about it.

I contradict myself just like Scripture does, and for the same reason too: different circumstances, different times, and the fallibility of human authors.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-08-12   20:46:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: Vicomte13 (#20)

Mandatory organ harvesting at death with no opt out makes sense.

Look you dumb ass liar. You said the above.

Now you change your mind. Quit pretending you catholic ass wiper.

You told Grandisland tough shit we take your organs. So shut the fuck up ab out it.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-08-12   21:58:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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