Thursday, July 12, 2012

The New Kevorkian?

News Story:

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Anne Thompson in Trenton, New Jersey. He pleaded guilty in October to three counts of organ trafficking and one of conspiracy.
“It’s a kind of trading in human misery,” Thompson said of black-market kidney sales. Rosenbaum “charged a fee” for kidneys and “used a complicated web of transactions” to finance his business.

“He corrupted himself,” the judge said.

Three ailing people in New Jersey paid Rosenbaum a total of $410,000 to arrange the sale of kidneys from healthy donors, and an undercover FBI agent paid him $10,000. A 1984 U.S. law bans the sale of human organs.

Rosenbaum told a federal agent that he began brokering kidney sales around 1999, recruited Israelis to sell their organs and charged Americans as much as $160,000 a kidney. He told the agent that he had arranged “quite a lot” of transplants, according to a criminal complaint.

I have a question.  Who was harmed, exactly?  Let's be careful.  It's likely that none of the people who donated for pay would otherwise have donated for free.  That means that no one who felt that society owed them a free kidney was denied anything.

And though we can't know, it's likely that the people who donated all thought themselves better off.  Likewis the people who got a kidney, and were able to resume a life not tied to daily dialysis.

So....who was harmed?  Why is this man who brought together willing buyers and sellers being punished by 30 months in jail?  At our expense?  I don't get it.  The judge corrupted HIMself.

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?