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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

We Should Follow Iran’s Kidney Selling OK?



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There is growing pressure among the utilitarian bioethics crowd to permit the poor to sell their kidneys–and there is already a thriving biological colonialism in kidney selling that prays on the world’s most destitute.

Apparently, Iran permits this odious practice in the open–and now a new book this way comes extolling the idea. From the promotion for The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran:

Dr. Fry-Revere is the first Westerner ever to witness firsthand Iran’s organ procurement system. She shares what she discovered in this fascinating book: part diary of living in a dangerous country, part ethnographic essay, and part tale of people working together to overcome death and financial ruin. The Kidney Sellers is a shocking, thought-provoking true story.

Iran? We are supposed to adopt the ethics of tyrannous Iran? We are supposed to allow the well off to exploit the destitute? Long live the “1-Percent!” Good grief.

Not surprisingly, a general in the army of utilitarian bioethics enthusiastically supports kidney markets:

Sigrid Fry-Revere has given us an amazing, courageous, provocative, even dangerous look at the complex and generally successful system of selling/donation that has solved the kidney supply problem in Iran. Eloquently, humorously written, it is one of my best reads in years. The book will be fascinating to anyone who loves a good travel adventure story, but essential for anyone interested in overcoming the organ transplant problem that costs thousands of lives each year.” –Robert Veatch, Ph.D.

Of course he likes the idea. Veatch also advocates redefining death–actually killing the cognitively devastated for their organs–so long as consent is given.

I guess we’re supposed to not care that live kidney suppliers can suffer serious medical complications.

I’ll check this book out and discuss more fully at some future date.



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