Bryan Caplan  

Kidney Selling Coming Soon to Singapore!

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The sweet voice of reason works swiftly in Singapore.  Less than six months after I blogged about its Health Minister's interest in legalizing kidney sales, it's "almost certain to pass into law after another reading in Singapore's government-dominated parliament."  The whole story:
A controversial amendment to legalize the payment of compensation to organ donors was put before the Singapore parliament this week and while the health ministry is yet to decide on the upper limit for reimbursement, it is expected to be at least S$50,000 (US$33,000).
Better still, it's kidney trading without anti-foreign bias:
Critics [Curse their evil minds! - BC] point out that while this sort of figure may be viewed as just compensation by a Singaporean professional who has to take months off work, the same amount would be an inducement to many less well-off people both within Singapore and from neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. And, crucially, the government has insisted that it will not be bringing in a ban on foreign donors receiving compensation, which would be paid by the receiver or charities such as the National Kidney Foundation, as to do so would be discriminatory.
My question for Singaporean readers: If you put this measure up for a popular vote, would it pass?

HT: Tyler


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COMMENTS (4 to date)
Anon writes:

Wow, that's even more beautiful than I thought.

The compensation is going to be far above the international market rate (in Iran and India), but that's a reasonable cost to weaken opposition, and it will give them more donors to select among to ensure quality.

I'm sure the Singaporean government has thought carefully about the implications for medical tourism, although I wonder if European and American health insurance companies will be permitted to pay for it, now or for very long.

Hopefully, they'll keep detailed records, and the surge in transplants will set off a domino effect among Asian countries (China is already taking organs from prisoners, it's not much of a leap to sale).

Jacob Miller writes:

Has an economist already calculated the projected number of lives saved for Singapore? I'm disappointed that this aspect wasn't mentioned in the article. People seem to obsess over the transaction and fail to mention the benefits for either party.

mgroves writes:

You know how liberals sometimes said "I'm leaving the US and moving to Canada/Europe if Bush is re-elected"? I think I shall substitute Singapore and Obama and make the same joke.

John Smith writes:

Singapore Reader. Yes. Will vote for it

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