Organ sale is sensible

February 14, 1997

ONORA O'NEILL (THES, February 7) is mistaken to worry that allowing the sale of human organs will cause people to sell unhealthy ones. People will simply be screened for health. She is also mistaken to follow Richard Titmuss in thinking that commerce crowds out charity.

Blood donations do not stop just because some choose to sell theirs. In any case, United Kingdom hospitals have had to buy blood from places, such as the United States, that do pay individuals for it, having first screened them for health. Many people die because of organ shortages caused by state interference. This interference is based on distaste for commerce. There is no moral or practical argument to defend these needless deaths.

J. C. Lester Centre for Practical Philosophy Middlesex University

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