ABC News has a fascinating story about the President of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons promoting the right to sell kidneys. He argues that it will be cost-effective and very manageable from a bureaucratic point of view.
Science Blog reports that the monetary cost of donating a kidney can be substantial as well. They discuss a doctor's literature survey on the cost of donating a kidney.
Some of the results are as follows:
1. One US study finds that the average cost to a donor is $837, with values as low as zero and as high as $28,900.
2. Time lost from work is substantial -- average loss of $3,386 in the United Kingdom and $682 in the Netherlands.
3. Physical Limitations led to 3% of donors in one study either losing or resigning their job.
A common fear about a market for organs is that, at a positive dollar price, the rich will live and the poor die. Regardless of the merits of this argument, one must recognize that price also plays a role in increasing the supply of a good. Incentives matter.