Re: Free organ market (was: Kidney-nappers)

Anders Sandberg (
09 Sep 1997 16:40:12 +0200

Arjen Kamphuis <> writes:

> The typical Dutch awnser would be 'the middle road' try to combine the best
> of both in a mixed model of free market (for efficient allocation of
> resources) and some centralised control (I'll refrain from using the G-word
> here ;-) to make sure everybody can have acces to a high standard of
> medical care.

That is also one of the likelier possibilities for a change in the
current rules, total de-regulation would be politically hard to implement
but a regulated market system would be somewhat politically acceptable
(it would still be hard to implement, since the first nation to do it
would have to face some criticism from other nations).

> I think the addition of the right to sell your organs/tissue's, like Lee
> Daniel Crocker <> suggests (before or after you die) could be
> some improvement. It remains trick though, I don't think we want people
> having babies for the sole purpose of selling the parts (young/fetal
> nervetissue could be very valuable for Parkinsons Disease patients).

Hmm, it would be easy (and politically expedient) to not
include fetal tissue in the donation market. I see no major problem

On a more theoretical level, I see little wrong with this as long as
it is done before the nervous system has developed too much (how much
this is is another, very tricky question), but I expect others have
very firm views on this matter and it is best to ignore it for the
time being.

I'm fairly optimistic about the use of immortalization techniques,
embryonal xenografts and other precursor techniques (see Oliver
Brüstle & Ronald DG McKay (1996) Neuronal progenitors as tools
for cell replacement in the Nervous system, Current Opinion in
Neurobiology 6, 688-695)

> Just another thought:
> "There is nothing in the middle of the road
> besides yellow stripes and dead armadillo's" (anyone know who said this?)

It must have been an American. :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y