Berman, Robert
January 2005
Harvard Kennedy School Review;2005, Vol. 6, p13
Academic Journal
The article discusses legal issues related to the donation of organs in the U.S. In the world of organ failure, demand for organs far outstrips supply and buying organs is illegal. Due to U.S. legislation that prohibits the selling and purchasing of organs, more than sixty-five hundred Americans die unnecessarily every year. Since the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) makes buying an organ illegal, the only avenue to obtain one is the black market. As an act of misguided paternalism, NOTA deprives poor people the right to sell their kidneys in an effort to "protect" them from their own "poor judgment." By depriving sick people access to means that can save their lives, NOTA violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognizes a citizen's right to life.


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