During the last decade there have been enormous advances in the transplantation of vital human organs-in particular, the kidney, lung, heart, liver, pancreas, and small intestine. Unfortunately, efforts to provide the benefits of these operations to patients have been severely hindered by limitations in the supply of organs-limitations that are a consequence of regulation prohibiting the use of market incentives to increase the supply.

Markets for organs could take various forms: sales by living donors; sales of future interests in organs, to be removed on the death of the donor; and sales of organs of a recently deceased person by the family of the deceased. Two additional issues relate to the design of a market: the geographic scope of the market and rules of liability for the sale of diseased or defective organs.

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