In following this ”Dr. Horror” organ story, I came across the story of Robert Zurrer a guy in his 30s in Victoria whose kidneys were failing. His sister Carol gave him a kidney but 20 years later he needed a new kidney so he bought one. He paid $38,600 for the operation in Pakistan and got the kidney from an indebted brick maker.
“It’s arrogant to tell me I can’t do this,” says Zurrer, who bought his kidney in December 2006, and equally wrong to tell a poor Pakistani he can’t sell a kidney for a shot at a better life.
Of the $38,600 the donor recieved between $1500 and $3000 dollars. My questions is “Should Robert Zurrer be charged with a criminal offense?”
In my opinion the answer is yes, maybe. If purchasing an organ is illegal in Pakistan then we should hold him accountable. It is exploitation, and while Mr. Zurrer might be correct in saying the Pakistani man got a shot at a better life, we have rules here that prevent us from doing all sorts of things that may be non-zero sum games. Prostitution is a perfect example. The customer gets what they want, the prostitute gets paid, everyone is happy. If I ran a prostitution ring in England however, I might get in trouble. But I could probably own a brothel in Amsterdam without getting hassled. It all depends on the country where the act occurs.
I think the rule of thumb has to be to protect those, who in a moment of weakness or need might allow themselves to be exploited. Just as we adminently protect children, we must also protect those in our society who are easy to take advantage of – the weak, the poor and the elderly. That is how our society will be judged in the ages to come.