John Stossel's 'Give Me a Break'

Pereira said, "17 deaths a day is a statistic that we need to understand in the light of what could happen on the downside."

Poor people will be exploited, he says, and it's just immoral to sell body parts.

Pereira said, "The fact that the current situation is desperate, doesn't justify an unwise policy decision."

"Organ donation is purely an issue of altruism," he said.

But altruism isn't working.

Motor vehicle departments offer license applicants a chance to volunteer their organs after they die. Some people agree to it, but most people don't.

It's a reason some medical organizations that used to object to buying or selling organs, now say we ought to at least consider paying small amounts to increase organ donation after people die. The money could help families pay funeral costs.

But would a few hundred dollars change people's mind?

Lots of people we spoke with said it might.

But some were opposed to any payment.

"If you don't want to do it for free I don't think you should do it. I don't know. I don't think it's appropriate," one woman said.

And that's a reason it's against the law. Dr. Pereira says bringing in money would exploit everyone.

"They miss the pleasure, or the gratification of having made this decision purely out of altruism," Pereira said.

But, shouldn't that be their choice?

"There are some issues in life that we cannot completely leave to the choice of the family who has to make a decision," Pereira said.

Steve finally did get another kidney and he didn't pay for it.

Rebecca, an acquaintance of Steve and his wife volunteered her kidney. "She said she wanted to do it because it was the right thing to do," Steve said. So no money changed hands.

Rebecca said, "I know Steve and Elaine are very generous people and I know that I will benefit greatly from this."

Rebecca went to live with the Rivkins, and they've talked about taking her to Paris.

The operation was a success. Steve left the hospital with Rebecca's kidney functioning well inside his body, and Rebecca's doing well, too.

Good for Steve, but why can't other people buy and sell what he got? After all, he says, everyone else makes money from transplants.

"The doctors make money, the hospitals make money, the organ procurement organizations make money. Everybody gets something except for the donor," Steve said.

Good point. If you find selling an organ immoral, fine — you don't have to do it. But should all sick people be denied transplants because some people believe selling organs is bad?

Give me a break.

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