Altruism

1979 Words Mar 29th, 2016 8 Pages
Should there be a legal market for the transplant of kidneys from live donors? If so, what form should this market take? If not, how should the shortage of kidneys for transplant be addressed?
First I am going to argue that that a upholding the right to self-ownership should be a justification in allowing for an unregulated legal market for the transplant of kidneys from live donors.
Second I will explain how the negative externality that would occur due to the existence of a new market for live kidneys, would create a decrease in the welfare of society through behavioural effects in other similar markets. I will counter this argument by explaining that there would be an overall net gain in utility received by a variety of agents in
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Such as the way others view them as virtuous and vital additions to the benefit of society.
The presence of a market provides the opportunity for a donor and recipient to take part in a transaction that better improves the utility of both individuals (by capturing dead weight loss) assuming they both place heterogeneous values on the kidney (e.g. the donor values his kidney at £1000, yet receives £1200 and the recipient values the transplant of the kidney at £1500 yet only pays £1200). Such an exchange would lead to a Pareto improvement in terms of utility, which is defined as the movement towards an alternative state in which no one is made worse-off and at least one person is made better off; if such a state does exist. The absence of a market in this case would lead to a dead weight loss, due to the lost producer and consumer surplus (Difference between value of the good and price paid/received for it) which would have been captured were the market exchange of the good permitted.
In the U.K. kidneys are viewed as market inalienable, in other words the good cannot be transferred between agents that involves an exchange of resources and can only be provided as a gift (gift alienable).
I believe the shortage of kidneys available in the U.K. (6,500 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant) is due to the fact that the supply of kidneys is restricted to those individuals that
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