I love Harry's Law. IMO, it's the best legal show ever to be put on TV. They deal with some very interesting and unusual issues which most of us never even consider.
Last night, the premise of the show was that a wealthy young man was dying of kidney disease and had only six months to live. He was on the transplant list, but his chances of getting a kidney were very small. He found a perfect donor - an unemployed man who was willing to sell a kidney to support his family. No hospital would do the transplant. Why? It's ILLEGAL to sell your own organs in this (and other) countries.
There are pros and cons here and I'm going to outline what the show presented. Cons: Humans find it morally reprehensible. It favors the rich, who can afford to buy an organ. And, it sets up the possibility for coerson of the donor. Pros: More lives can be saved.
But there are a couple of other things I find even MORE important here.
1) We sell our blood, our eggs and our sperm. Nobody has a problem with that. They are parts of our body. Yes, they can reproduce themselves - eggs and sperm for a limited time only, though. But a liver can regenerate and we only need one kidney to survive. Actually, we "sell" entire BABIES if you want to get technical. A surrogate mother can be compensated for growing a child and the only difference is that the people hiring the surrogate are not "buying" but rather "compensating". WTF is the difference?
2) Americans hate rich people. That's become pretty damned clear. We expect them to pay for everything in this country, but when they want to pay for organs for their own transplant, we find it reprehensible? Why? Having them go outside the donor list only helps the poor. It will make more donated organs available more quickly and save more lives. So what's the problem?
3) Now on the moral question - is it morally correct for a poor person who can USE the money from selling a sliver of liver to starve and for his/her children to starve so that some people aren't offended? Is it morally correct for doctors and hospitals to ALLOW people to die because our Congress has decided that buying organs is wrong? and that brings me to the BIGGIE
4) WHO GAVE CONGRESS THE RIGHT TO DECIDE THAT MY ORGANS DON'T BELONG TO ME? Who? What gives them ANY right to tell me I can't sell a kidney? What about the right of privacy? What makes selling a piece of my liver and different than selling a few pints of my blood? They can BOTH save lives. By denying me the right to sell a kidney, they are denying me a right to earn money, and they are denying a very sick human being the right to "life".
I find it truly ironic that our laws (including the Constitution) make it illegal to STOP a woman from terminating a pregnancy - which some consider taking a life - and our laws make it illegal to PREVENT someone from dying. Where's the "equal protection" for the dying? WTF Congress?
I think that this might be the most glaring over-stepping of authority in the history of America regarding what I can and cannot do with my body. As I libertarian I find THIS to be reprehensible.