The Mexican newspaper El Universal printed in its front page an article exuding desperation for those in the transplant waiting list. The title was “The long wait for a transplant”.
The story highlights the issue transplant candidates must endure: 10 or more years of wait and 18.000 people ahead of them. The reason? According to the newspaper “lack of culture and lack of regulation” Do good. Sell a body part – save a life.
In other words, there are insufficient voluntaries and even if they were, the Health Secretariat has not issued the regulation for the “General Health Law in relation to the Donation and Transplant of Organs, Cells and Tissues”
Because of this lack of regulation, nothing can be coordinated and many people are suffering.
In addition, according to this new law, implicit organ donation will be allowed if a relative of the deceased so allows.
Let’s analyze this from an Absolute Austro-Libertarian point of view.
There is an issue (lack of organs for transplant) but there is no market for them because a law prohibits it. Therefore the solution is to con people into donating organs or if not, pressure relatives to donate them post-mortem.
You don’t have any rights and one way or another we will harvest your organs. Get used to it.
Makes only sense. In a political system where your property is not really yours, politicians can do whatever they want.
How would this be solved in an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system? Simple. Your body is yours and your rights to it are absolute.
Solution #1: sell a body part. Seems farfetched? Why? There are many people out there that have donated organs to relatives and friends for free, and they are doing just fine thank you very much. So what difference does it make if they do this for free or are paid? Nothing. Well actually yes, one thing: the recipient will actually have a new organ!
Solution #2: sell body parts post-mortem. In other words, leave a will specifying that after your death you are naming an administrator of your property (your body) and this person must proceed to sell your body parts for transplant and do something with the money.
Presto! Crisis solved!
A free market solution provided by free people thinking freely.
No regulation required. No government required.
But… but… but… what about abuses? Well… current abuses will decrease enormously because the economic incentives won’t be there. Why take a gigantic chance with back room deal for measly gains? Too risky.
But let’s go a step further. What would prevent that poor regions of the world will become “harvesting grounds” ? Simple. In an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system you can move freely anywhere in the planet. Furthermore, due to the global nature of the economic activity, all standards of living, anywhere in the planet would be about the same. There won’t be global locations where there are more poor and desperate people that may reach for this method as a last resort. But, lastly, there will be so many body parts from deceased, that why bother? The market will be flushed with body parts and will make no economic sense to go to the farthest reaches to obtain a part. So no, there is no real risk here.
But let's go another set further. What about the people who can't afford to pay the price?
What about them? First off, the market will be flooded with body parts, so prices will be quite low. Secondly, there will be insurance (private, of course) paying for such eventualities. For the people that can’t afford insurance (unlikely because our standards of living will increase and insurance will be available for most) there are always loans. There really is no difference between taking a loan to buy a car or taking a loan to buy a new organ transplant. The bottom line is that most people won’t have any problems affording new organs.
But what about those few that won’t be able to afford them? As we mentioned many times before, in a world that is far richer than the current one, people donate freely. There will be not-for-profit organizations that will take care of these charity cases. We know so because history teaches so. It has happened in the past, it is happening today and will continue to happen in the future.
The Absolute Austro-Libertarian system is, above all, a practical system. It brings practical solutions to practical issues. It does so mostly by not imposing rules, regulations or laws. It believes in human beings. It believes in self-organizing people. It believes in a self-balance based on self-interest. And it has worked in the past and will again work in the future!
Keep this in mind when you make your choices. They are yours, and only yours.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.