Thursday, March 11, 2004

Profiting from body parts

Interesting op-ed in the New York Times today about selling body parts for science. In general, I have a lot of sympathy with the view: "I won't need my body after I'm dead, so I might as well let something useful come of it." But I was kind of surprised at the importance of this bold part (emphasized by me):
What's more, being carved into bits and chunks and shipped to a dozen different universities and institutions seems no more distasteful than decomposing in the dark underground or being burned to char in a crematory retort. There's nothing wrong with a post-mortem adventure. (I'm told that if you donate your brain to the Harvard Brain Bank, for instance, it rides up front in the cockpit on the plane to Boston.) I'm happy to donate my body to science as long as no one profits off my parts.
I really just don't understand why that should be an issue -- why shouldn't I want people to profit off my body parts? I think the best case scenario would involve *many* people profiting *a lot* from my body parts. The author goes on to make the perfectly reasonable point that the system might work better if there could be some assurance that I or my loved ones could be guaranteed some of the profit. But I still think the bold claim is weird.

No comments:

Post a Comment