We are born with two kidneys, so we have one “to spare.” There is a thriving black market of business people in third world countries selling kidneys to people in the West who need them. There was even a movie, “Dirty Pretty Things,” made about this. Now the British Medical Journal says this may not always be wrong.

Sue Rabbitt Roff of Dundee University Medical School says that courts have already know the “prices” for body parts, since they’ve been determined by the compensation that is usually awarded to people who have lost them in accidents. If that’s the case, maybe the legal and medical professions should work together to set prices for certain organs, in order to stop them from being sold illegally. Doctors in India, where many of the sellers come from, are especially enthusiastic about setting prices for legal sales. Roff suggests $40,000 for a kidney, which is close to the average annual income in both the US and UK.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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