X-Message-Number: 22723
From: "Aschwin de Wolf" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: Selling Organs
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 11:12:26 -0400

> The matter of choice isn't as black and white as the message
> below suggests. Once the option is available, the choice becomes a matter of
> "give up your kidney (or liver section or whatever) or see your <friend,
> relation  die", and although people really don't want to give up their
> kidney they are forced into it by the threat hanging over them if they don't
> (implicit in the way other members of the group will treat them if they
> don't). Exactly the same thing happens with people in poor countries where
> the choice is "give up your kidney or get beaten up because you have debts",
> (or see your friends and relations get beaten up).

Maybe the Libertarian Alliance is a bit extreme in its rethoric but I am not 
sure how you define a threat. If you (even) include mutually advantageous 
transactions you must also have objections to things like wage labor, 
prostitution and even for-profit cryonics organizations (when poor people are 

What is essential here is not to blur the line between the requirement to 
abstain from coercion / aggression and transactions for mutual advantage. For a 
thoughtful discussion of this distinction see:

It may test our sensibilities but legalizing the selling of organs *increases* 
(not decreases) the range of alternatives for poor people. One may prefer the 
state giving money to poor people but I am not sure if a forced transfer of 
money (or labor) is to be prefered over a voluntary transfer of organs.

I completely agree that (stem cell) technology for growing organs would be very 
welcome (and better) but making the state the owner (or part owner) of our 
bodies and resticting mutually advantageous transactions should be something 
cryonicists should not support.

A libertarian-leaning non-profit organ sharing organization is:

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